Artist Name
K. S. Chithra
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Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, often credited as K. S. Chithra or simply Chithra, is an Indian playback singer from Kerala. Chithra also sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music. She has sung in different languages in a following order Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil , Oriya, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Badaga, Sanskrit, Tulu, Urdu and Punjabi languages. She has recorded more than 25,000 songs for various films and albums. She is a recipient of six National Film Awards (the most by any female singer), six Filmfare Awards South and 31 different state film awards. She has won all the four south Indian state film awards.
Chithra is often known as Chinna Kuyil (English: Little Nightingale) or Keralathinte Vanambadi (English: Nightingale of Kerala).

Early life and family:
Born in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, into a family of musicians, Chithra's father, the late Krishnan Nair, was also her first guru (teacher). Her elder sister K. S. Beena is also a playback singer. Chithra received her training in Carnatic music from Dr. K. Omanakutty, passed B.A. in music with first class and third rank from the University of Kerala, and completed a Masters degree in Music. She was selected for the National Talent Search Scholarship from the Central Government from 1978 to 1984. She is married to Vijayashankar, an engineer and businessman and settled in Chennai. Their only daughter, Nandana, died aged eight, in a pool accident in April 2011 in Dubai.


Playback singing:
Chithra was introduced to Malayalam playback by M. G. Radhakrishnan in 1979 and went on to become a regular singer for many Malayalam musicians, including Raveendran.Attahasam, Snehapurvam Meera and Njaan Ekananu were the first few films in which she recorded her songs. She also performed live concerts with K. J. Yesudas in India and abroad. She worked with music directors including Raveendran, Shyam, Jerry Amaldev, Mohan Sithara, Kannur Rajan and Johnson. She made her debut in the Tamil film industry through the song "Poojaikketha Poovithu" from the film Neethana Antha Kuyil, which was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. She was given the title Chinnakuyil after singing the song "Chinna Kuyil Paadum" from the 1985 released film Poove Poochudava. Director Fazil cast her for this song after Ilaiyaraaja got impressed with her song sung in original version in Malayalam for the film Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu in 1985 directed by himself.
By the mid-1980s, she had recorded many successful songs for composers in Malayalam, and numerous songs for Ilayaraja and others in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. She is the female singer who has sung the largest number of songs for the Academy Award winning composer A. R. Rahman for his Tamil film songs. She also sang for composers such as G. Devarajan, V. Dakshinamoorthy, M. B. Sreenivasan, M. S. Viswanathan, Ravi (music director), M. G. Radhakrishnan, Johnson, Raveendran, Shyam, Rajan-Nagendra, K. V. Mahadevan, M. M. Keeravani, S. P. Venkatesh, Ouseppachan, Hamsalekha, Deva, Mohan Sithara, Vidyasagar, Bharadhwaj, Chakravarthy, M. Jayachandran, M. G. Sreekumar, Berny-Ignatius, Sharreth, Ramesh Narayan, Deepak Dev, Raj-Koti, S. A. Rajkumar, Mani Sharma, Harris Jayaraj, Devisri Prasad, Yuvan Shankar Raja, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Bijibal, Mejo Joseph, Sejo John, Shahabaz Aman, Alphons Joseph, S. Thaman, Gopi Sunder, Ratheesh Vegha, Achu Rajamani, Mickey J Meyer, M. Ghibran and many other south Indian music directors.
She has recorded Hindi songs for music directors in Bollywood, including A. R. Rahman, Anand-Milind, Anu Malik, Rajesh Roshan, Viju Shah, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, R D Burman, Naushad Ali, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Jatin-Lalit, Sandeep Chowta, Vishal, and Sandesh. She also recorded the Hindi versions of her own Tamil songs sung for A. R. Rahman.
She recorded maximum duets with K. J. Yesudas, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam' M. G. Sreekumar and Mano (singer), and has sung maximum songs for Ilaiyaraaja, A. R. Rahman, Ravi (music director), M. M. Keeravani, Hamsalekha, Johnson, Raveendran, M. G. Radhakrishnan, Raj-Koti, Deva (music director), Mani Sharma, Sharreth and M. Jayachandran.
Apart from playback singing, she also appeared among the panel of judges in the singing reality television shows at Kerala (Idea Star Singer and Josco Indian Voice),; at Tamil Nadu (Airtel Super Singer Junior), where she also won the award for Best Female Judge and at Andhra Pradesh (MAA TV Super Singer).

Studio albums:
Chithra recorded her first studio album with Voodoo Rapper for the album called Ragga Raaga in 1993. She recorded the albums in Hindi, Piya Basanti (2000) and Sunset Point. She associated with Ustad Sultan Khan for Piya Basanti which was certified Gold.Sunset Point had eight songs written and narrated by Gulzar and sung by Chithra and Bhupinder. In 2006, she released an album in dedication to M. S. Subbulakshmi named My Tribute. It is a collection of Kritis and bhajans dedicated to Subbulakshmi. In 2009 she released Nightingale: A Salute to Lataji, a musical tribute to Lata Mangeshkar on her 80th birthday. She also recorded many Malayalam albums for K. J. Yesudas, M. Jayachandran and Sharreth compositions. She also planned a ghazal album with Ghulam Ali and Asha Bhosle.
In 2014, Chithra recorded a song at a Singapore studio for A. R. Rahman's private album Raunaq written by Kapil Sibal.
Chithra has established her own recording label, Audiotracs, to promote new artists to collaborate with her as singers, lyricists and music directors.


Chithra, along with a Kerala-based satellite channel, Asianet Cable Vision (ACV), jointly launched a fundraising organisation, Sneha Nandana, to raise funds for the welfare of retired musicians who have lost their careers due to changes in the music industry. She launched this organisation on the occasion of her completion of three decades in the music playback industry. She said that the fund would provide help to the musicians with financial impediments and those suffering from health problems. A cultural event named Chitra Pournami was held on 15 February 2011 at Thiruvananthapuram to celebrate the 30th year of her career and also to launch this organisation. Attendees included K. J. Yesudas, V. Dakshinamurthy, Sreekumaran Thampi, P. Susheela, Hariharan, P. Jayachandran, Usha Uthup, M.K. Arjunan, Johnson, Shyam, M. Jayachandran, M. G. Sreekumar, Sharath, Sujatha Mohan, Unni Menon, Srinivas, G. Venugopal, Minmini, and Priyadarshan.

Stage performances:

Chithra has performed in India, the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, UK, France, US, Canada, Australia,South Africa,Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Uganda, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark.

Performances outside India:
Royal Albert Hall London - Performed at Royal Albert Hall London.,
House of Commons London - First Indian singer to perform at the British Parliament,
Kennedy Center Honors - Washington. (United States),
Rogers Centre - Toronto (Canada),
Esplanade, Singapore,
Alexandra Palace - London,
Trump Taj Mahal - Atlantic City (United States),
Sydney Super Dome - Sydney (Australia),
Rod Laver Arena - Melbourne (Australia),
Sydney Opera House - Sydney (Australia),

International projects:
Recorded with the Arab singer Jawad Ali for his album "Amar Ul Hob",
Recorded a song for the jazz pianist Herbie Hancock,
Invited by the Government of China to perform in the Quinghai international water and music festival in Quing Hai, China.,

Awards, honours and recognition:
Chithra has won six National Awards for best female playback singer. This is the highest number of national awards awarded to any female playback singer. She has won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Singer 15 times. She is the only person to win Kerala State Film Awards most number of times in a row (11 times). She has won the following awards:
Civilian Awards:
2005 - Padma Shri - India's fourth highest civilian honour,
Special Honour:
1997 - Kalaimamani Award - Tamil Nadu Government,
2001 - National Excellence Award 2001 by Limca Book of Records,
2011 - Honorary Doctorate - Sathyabama University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu,
2011 - Bharath Ratna Lata Mangeshkar Award - Government of Andhra Pradesh for Cultural Council,
2014 - Kerala Samsthana Vanitha Rathnam (Kamala Surayya Award) by Government of Kerala for Social Welfare Department,
National Film Awards:
1986 - Best Female Playback Singer - Song: "Padariyen Padippariyen, Naan Oru Sindhu" (Sindhu Bhairavi, Tamil),
1987 - Best Female Playback Singer - Song: "Manjal Prasadavum" (Nakhakshathangal, Malayalam),
1989 - Best Female Playback Singer - Song: "Indupushpam Choodi Nilkum Raathri" (Vaishali, Malayalam),
1996 - Best Female Playback Singer - Song: "Maana Madurai" (Minsaara Kanavu, Tamil),
1997 - Best Female Playback Singer - Song: "Payalein Chun Mun" (Virasat, Hindi),
2004 - Best Female Playback Singer - Song: "Ovvoru Pookalume" (Autograph, Tamil),
Filmfare Awards South:
2004: Best Female Playback Singer - Telugu - "Nuvvostanante" (Varsham),
2006: Best Female Playback Singer - Malayalam - "Kalabham Tharam" (Vadakkumnathan),
2006: Best Female Playback Singer - Kannada - "Araluva Hoovugale" (Autograph),
2008: Best Female Playback Singer - Malayalam - "Oduvil Oru" (Thirakkatha),
2009: Best Female Playback Singer - Malayalam - "Kunnathe Konnakyum" (Pazhassiraja),
2013: Best Female Playback Singer - Telugu - "Seethammavaakitlo" (Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu),
Kerala State Film Awards:
2005 - Best Play Back Singer - "Mayangipoyi" (Nottam),
2002 - Best Play Back Singer - "Karmukil Varnante" (Nandanam),
2001 - Best Play Back Singer - "Mooli Mooli" (Theerthadanam),
1999 - Best Play Back Singer - "Pular Veyilum" (Angane Oru Avadhikkalathu),
1995 - Best Play Back Singer - "Sasikala Charthiya" (Devaraagam),
1994 - Best Play Back Singer - "Parvanenthu" (Parinayam),
1993 - Best Play Back Singer - "Ponmeghame" (Sopanam), "Rajahamsame" (Chamayam), "Sangeethame" (Gazal),
1992 - Best Play Back Singer - "Mounasarovaram" (Savidham),
1991 - Best Play Back Singer - "Thaaram" (Keli), "Swarakanyakamar" (Santhwanam),
1990 - Best Play Back Singer - "Kannil Nin Meyyil" (Innale), "Palappoove" (Njan Gandharvan),
1989 - Best Play Back Singer - "Kalarivilakku" (Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha), "Thankathoni" (Mazhavilkavadi),
1988 - Best Play Back Singer - "Indupushpam" (Vaishali),
1987 - Best Play Back Singer - "Eenam marannakatte" (Eenam Maranna Kattu), "Thalolam Paithal" (Ezhuthappurangal),
1986 - Best Play Back Singer - "Manjalprasadavum" (Nakhakshathangal),
1985 - Best Play Back Singer - "Oreswaram Ore Niram" (Ente Kaanakuyil), "Poomaname" (Nirakkootu), "Aayiram Kannumai" (Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu),
Nandi Awards (Andhra Pradesh State Film Awards):
1990 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Kaliki Chilaka" (Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu),
1991 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Endharo"(Rajeswari Kalyanam),
1992 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Akasana" (Sundarakanda),
1993 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Venuvai Vachhanu" (Matrudevobhava),
1996 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Mataivvamma" (Maavichiguru),
1998 - Best Female Playback Singer (Television) - "Anweshitha" (Anweshita Etv Serial),
1999 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Marala Telupuna" (Swayamvaram),
2004 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Nuvvostanante Neddontana" (Varsham),
2009 - Best Female Playback Singer- "Pallavinchanee" (Kalavaramaye Madilo),
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards:
1988 - Best Female Playback Singer - multiple films,
1990 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Chinna Ponnu Dhaan" (Vaigaasi Porandhaachu),
1995 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Kannalane" (Bombay),
2004 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Ovvoru Pookalume" (Autograph),
Karnataka State Film Awards:
1997 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Hele Kogile Impagalaa" (Nammoora Mandara Hoove),
2001 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Navileno Kunibeku" (Gattimela),
2005 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Kandamma Kandamma" (Maharaja),
Orissa State Film Awards:
1993 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Band Kothari Band Choraka" (Mo Kanhu Re),
Bollywood Movie Awards:
2004 - Best Playback Singer Female - "Koi Mil Gaya" (Koi Mil Gaya),
Global Indian Music Awards(GIMA):
2013 - Best Carnatic Classical Album - Vocal - Album "Vande Vasudevam" an album based on Annamacharya Krithis.,
MTV Video Music Award:
2001 - International Viewer's Choice Awards MTV India (Hindi pop category) Album Piya Basanti.(The first singer from South India to get the prestigious MTV Award).,
Star Screen Awards:
1998 - Best Female Playback - "Payale Chummun" (Virasat),
MTV Immies Awards:
2003 - Best Play Back Singer - "Koi Mil Gaya" (Koi... Mil Gaya),
Mirchi Music Awards South:
2009 - Radio Mirchi Listeners Choice Award - "Kunnathe Konnakyum" (Pazhassiraja),
2010 - Best Female Playback (Malayalam)- "Chithra Shalabhame" (Karayilekku Oru Kadal Dooram),
2012 - Best Female Playback (Telugu) - "Paluku thelpu" (Devasthanam),
2012 - Best Female Playback (Malayalam)- "Vishukili" (Ivan Megharoopan),
2013 - Best Female Playback (Telugu) - "seethamma vakitlo sirimalle chettu" (Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu),
2013 - Best Female Playback (Malayalam) - "Ilaveyil Viralukalaayi" (Artist (film)),
2013 - Song of the Year (Malayalam) - "Ilaveyil Viralukalaayi" (Artist (film)),
Asianet Film Awards:
1999 - Best Female Playback - "Thumbayum Thulasiyum" (Megham),
2000 - Best Female Playback - "Varmukile" (Mazha),
2003 - Best Female Playback - "Enthinai Nin Idam Kannin" (Mizhi Randilum),
2005 - Best Female Playback - "Enthu Paranjalum" (Achuvinte Amma),
2007 - Best Female Playback - "Chellathamare" (Hallo),
2009 - Best Female Playback - "Kunnathe Konnakkyum" (Pazhassiraja),
2012 - Best Female Playback - "Ponnodu Poovayi"(Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty),
Mathrubhumi Film Awards:
1999 - Best Female Playback - "Thumbayum Thulasiyum" (Megham),
2000 - Best Female Playback - "Varmukile" (Mazha),
2001 - Best Female Playback - "Katte Nee Veesharuthippol" (Kattu Vannu Vilichappol),
2002 - Best Female Playback - "Kaarmukil Varnante" (Nandanam),
2003 - Best Female Playback - "Enthinai Nin Idam Kannin" (Mizhi Randilum),
2008 - Best Female Playback - "Enguninnuvanna " (Calcutta News),
2011 - Best Female Playback - "Chengathir Kaiyum" (Snehaveedu),
Gulf Malayalam Music Awards(GMMA):
2005 - Best Female Playback Singer,
2006 - Best Female Playback Singer,
2008 - Best Female Playback Singer,
Other honours:
1994 - Ugadi Purashkar by Madras Telugu Academy, Chennai,
2002 - Title of "KALAISELVAM" From South Indian Film Artistes' Association or South Indian Nadigar Sangam,
2003 - Lifetime Achievement Award from Global Malayali council London,
2003 - Swaralaya Yesudas Award Lifetime Achievement Award,
2005 - SIKHARAM - 15 lifetime achievement award 2005 from India Today,
2005 - Jeevan TV - P. Jayachandran Lifetime Achievement Award 2005,
2007 - Aginhotri lifetime achievement award 2007 from SAMORIN OF CALICUT,
2008 - JANMASHTAMI lifetime achievement award 2008,
2012 - "People of the Year" Honoured by Limca Book of Records,
2013 - Special Honour for contribution to Malayalam Film Industry 100 years Indian Cinema Celebration at Chennai.,
2014 - Lifetime Achievement Award from Raindropss a youth-based social organization on the occasion of Women's Day,
2014 - Felicitated by Limca Book of Records for "Empowering Women - Women Achievers of Kerala",
2014 - Vayalar Award by Vayalar Ramavarma Memorial Foundation for contribution of Malayalam Music Industry,
2015 - Felicitated by The Supreme Head of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church His Holiness Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II at "SOMRO"15,
Other awards:
Cinema Express Awards for 1986, 1987, 1988,1990,1991,1993,1994,1995,1998,
Film Fans Association Chennai Award - 20 times (This is the oldest film award in South India),
Gamma Indian Music Award, Malaysia for 1988,1989,1990,1996,
2001 - "For the sake of honour" award from Rotary International,
2001 - Lux - Asianet Award for the best playback singer Kannada,
2004 - "Vocational excellence" award from Rotary International,
2005 - VIRTUSO Music Awards 2005,
2006 - Lux - Asianet Award for the best playback singer Kannada,
2007 - "Sathyan National Film Award-2007" By Sathyan Foundaion, Thiruvananthapuram.,
2007 - Sunfeast Tamil Music Awards for Best Female Playback Singer Award - "Yaaro Yarukkul" (Chennai 600028),
2008 - Devasthanam Award for GANAPRIYA Puraskaram by Peringottukara Devasthanam Temple Trust,
2010 - Jai Hind Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer Award - "Kunnathe Konnakyum" (Pazhassiraja),
2010 - Swaralaya - Eenam Award for Decade's Best Talent in Malayalam Music,
2010 - South Scope Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer Award - "Kunnathe Konnakyum" (Pazhassi Raja),
2011 - Lata Mangeshkar Award (2011),
2012 - Thikkurissy Award for Best Female Playback Singer - "Naattuvazhiyorathe" (Khaddama),
2013 - Maa Music Award for Best Duet Song - "Nee Choopule" with Haricharan (Endukante... Premanta!, Telugu Film ),
2013 - K P Brhamanandan Memorial Awards for Best Female Singer (2013),
2013 - ETV Kannada Sangeet Samman (P. B. Sreenivas) Award,
2013 - Asiavision Movie Awards-2013 for Best Female Playback - "Ilaveyil Viralukalayi" (Artist),
2013 - CERA BIG Malayalam Music Awards for Best Female Playback - "Ilaveyil Viralukalayi" (Artist) and "Ponnodu Poovay" (Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty),
2013 - CERA Big Malayalam Music Awards for Face of the Award - Honoured for completing three decades in in the industry,
2014 - Minimol Memorial Charitable Trust - Sathkeerthi Puraskaram,
2014 - Mappila Kala Academy in memory of K Raghavan Master - Sangeetha Ratnam Puraskaram for her contribution to film industry,
2014 - K.P. Radhakrishna Menon memorial Kala Ratna Award for her outstanding contributions to music.,
2014 - STAR Vijay Vijay Television Awards 2014 Favourite Judge Female for Airtel Super Singer,
2014 - Prasasthi Award of Excellence 2014 by Rotary International District Vacational Service Alappuzha,
2015 - Kerala Women In Cinema Award 2015 by Rashtra Deepika Cinema and Kerala State Women's Development Corporation For Best Singer Category,

Other achievements:
She has also been honoured with the Swaralaya Yesudas Award in 2004, Kalaiselvam title from the South Indian Nadigar Sangam in 2002, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Global Malayalee Council in London in 2003.,
She has also received numerous mainstream awards like MTV Immies, Screen - Videocon Award, Film Fans Association Awards, and Cinema Express Awards. Chithra was also awarded the 'Vocational Excellence' Award by the Rotary Club of Coimbatore.,
In 2010, she received the C. Cheriyan Memorial Award by Cochin Fine Arts Society, Swaralaya - Eenam Award for Best Female Singer and Chakkulathamma Swaravarsha Award.,
Her song "Kannalane (Kehna Hi Kya)" from the film Bombay (1995) was included in The Guardian's "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" list.

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Last Edit by manojkumarvs: 31/Mar/15

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