The devotional singer’s style and his diction raised the bar for others in the field.
Pithukuli Murugadas, the devotional singer aged 95, diedon Tuesday. Murugadas was a writer, lyricist and music composer too.
The singer travelled extensively in the country and abroad and his songs on Krishna, particularly the compositions of Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyer raised the bar for all other singers.
Born at Coimbatore on January 25, 1920, in a Brahmin family, Murugadas (Balasubramanian) learnt bhajans from his grandfather Gopalakrishna Bagavathar.
While participating in a freedom struggle in 1936, he was severely beaten up by police and lost vision in his left eye completely.
Murugadas, who started his musical career in 1947, has written and composed thousands of devotional songs and performed in Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the USA.
Brahmananda Paradesiyar, a saint, named him “Pithukuli” (a spiritual person) and Swami Ramadas, head of Aanandashram in Kanjangad in Kerala, added the title Murugadas meaning ‘the servant of Lord Muruga’
Be it Alaipayudhe Kanna or Aadadhu Asangadhu, his voice continues to find resonance with the public to this day. Murugadas was an expert in Tiruppugazh singing and cut a lot of records. He was known for his perfect pronunciation and diction.
Murugadas has many awards to his credit including the Kalaimamani from the Tamil Nadu government and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award.
(With inputs from PTI)