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First musician to receive Bharat Ratna award

First Musician To Be Awarded Bharat Ratna

M.S Subbulakshmi M.S Subbulakshmi Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi (6 September 1916 – 11 December 2004) was a Tamil Carnatic singer and actress . She sung in lots of different languages. Her first performance was at the Madras Music Academy. Her first recording was released when she was 10 years old. › wiki › M._S._Subbulakshmi M. S. Subbulakshmi – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , who was then aged 82, received the award for her distinguished career as a singer in the Carnatic tradition. Renowned for her extraordinary voice and often hailed as the “Queen of Songs”, Subbulakshmi was the first-ever musician to receive the accolade.


Subbulakshmi, also known as Kunjamma within her family, was born on 16 September 1916 in a small town in India. Her parents were Shanmukavadiver Ammal and Subramania Iyer, while her grandmother Akkammal had a talent for playing the violin.

She began her musical journey at a young age and received guidance in Carnatic music from notable mentors.

Subbulakshmi, the first musician to be awarded Bharat Ratna, had a musical upbringing as her mother was an accomplished musician and performer. She had the opportunity to learn from renowned musicians like Mazhavarayanendal Subbarama Bhagavathar, which further influenced her passion for music.

At the age of eleven, Subbulakshmi performed for the first time in public in 1927. The concert took place at the 100 pillar hall located inside a temple, with Mysore Chowdiah playing the violin and Dakshinamurthy Pillai accompanying on another instrument. This event was arranged by a prominent leader from Tiruchirappalli.

Relocate to Chennai

Subbulakshmi relocated to (present-day Chennai) in 1936 and ventured into the film industry in 1938. She made her debut on the silver screen alongside…

First Musician To Receive Bharat Ratna

In 1938, M.S. Subbulakshmi can be seen in a photograph alongside S. Varalakshmi.

First Musician to Receive Bharat Ratna

M.S. Subbulakshmi commenced her training in Carnatic classical music under the guidance of her mother, Shanmukhavadivu. She also received Hindustani classical training from Pandit Narayan Rao Vyas. At the age of 10, Subbulakshmi released her initial recording.

At the age of 13, Subbulakshmi showcased her musical talent by performing Hindu hymns at a renowned academy in 1929. This was an exceptional opportunity for a young girl as the academy had strict criteria for selecting performers. However, her mesmerizing performance captivated the audience and garnered praise from critics who hailed her as a prodigious musician. Following this successful debut, Subbulakshmi swiftly rose to prominence as one of the foremost Carnatic vocalists in India.

At just seventeen years old, Subbulakshmi began performing solo concerts, which included notable appearances at the..

She represented India as a cultural ambassador by performing in various countries such as London, New York, Canada, the Far East, and other locations. She gave notable concerts at prestigious venues like the Royal Academy of Music and Drama in 1963, New York on UN day in 1966, London in 1982, and the Festival of India in Moscow in 1987.

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In 1969, she visited Rameswaram with Advisor SN Venkata Rao and showcased her singing talent by performing multiple songs in front of each deity. She also had a warm relationship with Sree Ramaseva Mandali Bengaluru, for whom she gave a total of 36 concerts.

Following the demise of her spouse in 1997, she ceased all public appearances. Her final show took place in 1997, marking her retirement from live concerts.

On 11 December 2004, M. S. Subbulakshmi passed away at her residence in Kotturpuram, Chennai.


M.S. also dabbled in the film industry during her younger days. She made her debut on 2 May 1938 with a movie called . In this film, directed by , she played the lead role alongside . The movie received positive reviews and was both a critical and commercial triumph. A renowned critic praised the film on 8 May 1938:.

We should always expect something from Subramaniam’s direction – for instance depiction of social ills. If we have to say only two words about this talkie based on Premchand’s story it is – Go see (it).

Sevasadanam stands out as one of the pioneering Tamil movies that portrays a modern-day societal backdrop and promotes progressive social initiatives.

The well-known Marxist leader has described Sevasadanam as an extraordinary film for its unconventional portrayal of marriages between young girls and elderly men, a practice that was socially accepted at the time. He believes that the film effectively depicted the suffering of the girl, played by M.S., and the mental anguish experienced by her aged husband, portrayed by F.G. Natesa Iyer. According to Tamil film critic and historian Aranthai Narayanan in his book Thamizh Cinemavin Kathai (The Story of Tamil Cinema), Seva Sadhanam marked a significant turning point in Tamil cinema history. In the climax, it showcased a transformative moment where the aged husband completely changed his perspective and discarded his sacred thread, which symbolized Brahmin superiority. This scene had a profound impact on prevailing Brahmin orthodoxy at that time.

MS Subbulakshmi also played the male role of in Savitri (1941) to raise money for launching , her husband’s nationalist Tamil weekly. Her title role of the saint-poetess in the eponymous 1945 gave her national prominence. This movie was re-made in Hindi in 1947.

In 1938, she appeared in the film “Sumathi” produced by Madras United Artists Corporation. In 1940 and 1941, she acted in Tamil films without any specific roles or co-stars. In 1945, she worked with director Ellis R. Dungan on a Tamil film for Chandraprabha Cinetone. Then in 1947, she played the role of Meerabai in the film “Meerabai,” directed by Ellis R. Dungan and featuring music by Dilip Kumar Roy. She also had a minor role as a dancer in another Tamil film that same year.

The sole playback singer to receive the Bharat Ratna award

In addition to the Bharat Ratna, Lata Mangeshkar has also been honored with other notable awards. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1969, which is another significant recognition in India. This award acknowledges outstanding achievements in various fields, including arts and music.

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Aside from these national accolades, Lata Mangeshkar also received recognition within the entertainment industry itself. In 1999, she was presented with the Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievements for her remarkable contributions to Indian cinema through her melodious singing.

Awards and honours

M. S. Subbulakshmi was often seen wearing a saree in a shade of blue that has now become closely associated with her name – MS Blue.

had this to say about M.S. Subbulakshmi- “Who am I, a mere Prime Minister before a Queen, a Queen of Music”. While called her Tapaswini (the Renunciate), termed her Suswaralakshmi (the goddess of the perfect note), and labelled her the ultimate eighth note or Aathuvaan Sur , which is above the seven notes basic to all music. The great national leader and poet called her “Nightingale of India”. Her many famous renditions of include the chanting of Pancharatnam, , (1000 names of ), and the (musical hymns to awaken Lord Balaji early in the morning).

She received widespread recognition, admiration, and accolades. Some of the well-known ones include:

  • in 1954
  • in 1956
  • in 1968
  • (often considered Asia’s Nobel Prize) in 1974
  • in 1975
  • in 1975 by The Indian Fine Arts Society, Chennai
  • in 1988
  • Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in 1990
  • in 1998

M.S. Subbulakshmi, a renowned musician, was recognized for her contributions as an artist by the Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA). To honor her legacy, a bronze statue of M.S. Subbulakshmi was erected at the Poornakumbham circle in Tirupati. The unveiling ceremony took place on May 28, 2006 and was attended by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

The shade of the Kancheepuram Saree called MS Blue was named in her honor by Sri Muthu Chettiyar, a prominent member of the Congress party and philanthropist. This happened during their meeting at the residence of Sri R. Aiyadurai and Smt. Thangam Aiyadurai on Lady Desikachari Road in Madras, who were close friends of MS Subbulakshmi and her husband Sadasivam.

On 18th December 2005, a special stamp was released in honor of her achievements.

The United Nations has chosen to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of M.S. Subbulakshmi by releasing a special stamp.

She was bestowed with enormous prize moneys with these awards, most of which she donated to charity. She has given more than 200 charity concerts and raised well over Rs. 10,000,000. She was awarded honorary degrees from several Universities. She was an ardent devotee of and she rendered his composition “Maithreem Bhajatha” (O World! Cultivate peace) in her concert at the UN in 1966. She made a 20-minute recording of “Venkatesa Suprabhatam” for , the royalty from which goes to the Veda Patasala run by the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam. She donated many of the royalties on several best sold records to many charity organisations.

Who was awarded the Bharat Ratna in India in 2001?


– Bismillah Khan received the Bharat Ratna in 2001.

– Following his death in 2006, a national day of mourning was observed for Bismillah Khan.

– Bismillah Khan joined M.S. Subbalakshmi and Ravi Shankar as recipients of the Bharat Ratna among Indian classical musicians.


1. V. Gangadhar wrote a book titled “M.S. Subbulaksmi, the Voice Divine” which consists of 79 pages.

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2. HarperCollins published a book called “MS – A Life in Music” in 2004.

4. Gowri Ramnarayan also authored a book named “MS & Radha – Saga of Steadfast Devotion.”

5. Harper Collins released a publication titled “Of Gifted Voice, The Life and Art of M.S. Subbulakshmi.

The information was stored by the National Geographic Society and can be accessed until November 14, 2006.

First Indian musician to be awarded the Ramon Magsaysay prize?

Srimati M. S. Subbulakshmi, a renowned musician, was honored with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1974. The Board of Trustees acknowledged her exceptional talent in performing devotional songs and her extensive involvement in various philanthropic endeavors throughout India for more than forty years.

Apart from being an extraordinary musician, Subbulakshmi dedicated herself to numerous public causes that aimed at uplifting society as a whole. Over several decades, she actively supported initiatives related to education, healthcare, women empowerment, and poverty alleviation. Her unwavering commitment towards these causes made a significant impact on countless lives across India.

Who received the top honor Bharat Ratna among players?

Not only did Sachin Tendulkar excel individually, but he also played a pivotal role in leading Team India to several memorable victories during major tournaments. His leadership qualities were evident when he captained the national team during various periods throughout his career. Under his guidance, Team India achieved significant milestones and brought immense pride to their nation.

Number of musicians awarded Bharat Ratna?

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi became the last musician so far to receive this prestigious award in 2009. He was celebrated for his mastery over Hindustani classical vocals and his ability to evoke deep emotions through his performances.

Bharat Ratna recipient for 2024?

In a significant announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has revealed the recipients of the prestigious Bharat Ratna award for 2024. The esteemed individuals who will be honored with this recognition are:

1. P V Narasimha Rao – Former prime minister

2. Chaudhary Charan Singh – Former prime minister

3. M S Swaminathan – Agriculture scientist

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all three honorees on receiving this prestigious accolade – a true reflection of their unwavering dedication towards building a better India for all its citizens!

What is the ultimate music accolade worldwide?

The prestigious Grammy Awards, which are considered the most esteemed accolades in the music industry, were presented during a grand ceremony held in Los Angeles on Sunday. This annual event recognizes and celebrates outstanding achievements in various genres of music from around the world.

Artists, musicians, producers, and industry professionals gathered at this highly anticipated occasion to witness the announcement of winners across numerous categories. The atmosphere was filled with excitement as talented individuals eagerly awaited their chance to be recognized for their exceptional contributions to the field of music.

The Grammy Awards serve as a platform that not only honors artists but also showcases their remarkable talent and creativity. It is an opportunity for musicians to gain recognition on a global scale and further establish themselves within the industry. Winning a Grammy Award is often seen as one of the highest accomplishments for any musician or artist.