KJ Yesudas, Mammootty | Photo: Mathrubhumi, instagram.com/mammootty/
Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi: Eminent Carnatic vocalist and playback singer K J Yesudas, who has captivated music lovers of all ages with his dulcet tones during a career spanning over six decades, turned 83 on Tuesday.
Social media was abuzz with birthday wishes pouring in from superstars, singers, fans and politicians for Yesudas, also fondly called 'Dasettan' by his admirers and close friends with a special puja being held at the Mookambika Temple at Kollur in Udupi district of Karnataka.
A special event to celebrate his birthday was organised in Kochi city by the Yesudas Academy and was attended by the film industry's bigwigs like Mammooty, Siddique, Manoj K Jayan and prominent playback singers, including M G Sreekumar.
Yesudas, who attended the event online from the United States of America, thanked everyone for their birthday wishes.
Malayalam megastar Mammootty also wished a "thousand birthday wishes to Dasettan" on Facebook and during the event held in Kochi. He cut a scrumptious cake on behalf of Yesudas.
Superstar Mohanlal conveyed his birthday wishes to Yesudas on Facebook where he said 'Dasettan' was the pride of Kerala and there was hardly a Malayali around the world who would not have heard his "amrit swaram" (divine voice) at least once a day.
"Heartfelt birthday wishes to my beloved Dasettan," he said on his Facebook page.
Award-winning singer K S Chithra also conveyed her birthday wishes via social media to the 'Gana Gandharvan' (the celestial singer) -- another moniker, and a well-deserved one, by which he is known.
It is also an apt descriptor of the talent he possesses and which has been displayed in the over 80,000 songs recorded by him in various genres and almost all languages of India.
"Happy Birthday wishes to our one and only Dasettan. The voice that touches every heart. You are a true inspiration to singers. All my prayers for your good health and well being," Chithra said in her Facebook post accompanied by a video of her wishing him.
In her video message, she said that for the last three years 'Dasettan' has not come back to India and therefore, everyone misses him dearly and were waiting to meet him.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan conveyed his birthday wishes to Yesudas on Instagram.
The Chief Minister said Yesudas, with his incomparable singing style, created an amazing world of music.
"His contributions to the field of art and culture are invaluable. Happy birthday to Ganagandharvan K J Yesudas," Vijayan said in his post.
Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan, in his birthday wishes to Yesudas, said that his voice reflects the life, happiness, love and longing of every Malayali.
"Every Malayali hears that voice at least once a day," he said in his Facebook post.
Yesudas has recorded over 25,000 film songs, Carnatic bhajans and devotional songs.
Besides Indian languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali and Odia, he has also brought to life songs in Arabic, English, Latin, and even Russian during an over six decade long career.
He has been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan in 2017, and is the recipient of eight national awards, 25 Kerala state awards, five state awards of Tamil Nadu and four of Andhra Pradesh.
Known as one of the greatest playback singers in the country, Yesudas began his music career in the tinsel town with the Malayalam song "Jathi bhedam matha dwesham" in the year 1961 and sang in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films among other languages.
Some of his well-known Hindi songs, which went on to become hits, included 'Jab Deep Jale Aana' and 'Gori Tera Gaon Bada Pyara'.