CHENNAI: Legendary Indian playback singer, pride of Telugu and south Indian film industries SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away at the MGM Healthcare hospital here on Friday after a prolonged battle with COVID-19 related health issues. His son SP Charan announced this tragic news to the world outside the hospital. He said his father breathed his last at 1:04 PM today (September 25th). Before that the doctors of the hospital pronounced the iconic singer dead, leaving zillions of his fans all over the world distressed and feeling orphaned. He sang in 16 Indian languages which in itself is a record of sorts and aptly justifies the title given to him by his fans as 'Gaana Gandharva'.
This marks a sad end to his excruciating, 40-day-long fight with coronavirus and the complications that developed later on, leading to the deterioration in his health. In fact, Balasubrahmanyam appeared to have recovered well from the dreaded virus infection only recently and not so long ago, his son SP Charan informed the world that his father tested negative and is making slow and steady progress on the road to recovery.
Even as all his fans, friends and well-wishers began sighing in relief, the news of his health worsening again on Thursday kept everyone on the tenterhooks. Since the time the MGM Healthcare health bulletin described his condition as extremely critical on Thursday evening, nerve-wracking suspense prevailed over the well-being of the singer.
Legendary actor Kamal Hassan was the among the first to pay a visit to the hospital on Thursday evening and dropped enough hints that things are not looking up with regard to his health. By Friday morning, several Tollywood and Kollywood celebrities kept making a beeline to the hospital.
On Friday morning, the team of hospital doctors treating Balasubrahmanyam briefed his son SP Charan on the grimness of his father’s condition. All his family members were by his side when the end came. His long-time friend in the film industry, renowned Tamil director Bharatiraja visited the hospital this morning and he dropped enough hints in an emotional reaction to the media that all was not well with SP Balu. Overcome with grief and emotions, the director said that he hoped his friend would walk out of the hospital fully recovered but "it does not appear to be the case."
SPB was admitted to the hospital in the first week of August after he tested positive for COVID-19. He himself announced the news to the world through a selfie video in which he appeared cheerful as ever and requested everyone not to call him up as he would be under quarantine.
Condolences have been pouring in from all across the country and from personalities of all walks of life.
Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam, popularly known as SPB, in a career spanning over five decades, he sang more than 40,000 songs across different Indian languages. He was loved by fans across age groups for his immense contribution to the musical landscape. Besides singing, he acted in various films and also bankrolled a couple of movies. He was a music director and also a dubbing artiste.
He got his first break with a Telugu movie ‘Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna’ in 1966. K Viswanath’s epic classic ‘Sankarabharanam’ and the 1981 Bollywood hit ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’ were the two turning points of SPB's career.