Janaki S Biography
S. Janaki (Kannada: ಎಸ್. ಜಾನಕಿ,Telugu:ఎస్. జానకి, Tamil:எஸ். ஜானகி, Malayalam: എസ്. ജാനകി), is a legendary, award-winning female playback singer. She is a Telugu by birth, but went on to become a house hold name in entire South Indian territory. She is renowned for her super modulation power of her voice which can aptly adapt to anybody ranging from a small child to an elderly old woman.
She has sung in many Indian languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi. Janaki is also a lyricist and a composer. She has worked with almost all the music directors of her time. She along with S P Balasubramanyam is the most popular singing combination in south India.
S. Janaki was born into a Telugu family in Pallapatla, Repalle village, Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. She was interested in music from early age and started performing at the age of three. She learnt music from Sree Paidiswamy, a nadaswaram Vidwan.
Janaki started singing at 19. She later moved to Chennai on the advice of her uncle Dr. Chandrashekar and joined AVM Studios as a singer. She started her career in movies by singing songs composed by T. Chalapati Rao in the Tamil movie Vidhiyin Vilayattu in 1957. Subsequently, she performed in the Telugu movie MLA. She went on to become one of the most favourite singers of Ilayaraja and began to sing for him for at least 2-3 songs per movie in all the 4 southern languages.
She also wrote many songs for Tamil and Telugu movies. She has sung more than 30000 songs[Films,Non Films], in almost all languages in South India as well as in Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Sinhalese, Bengali, Oriya, English, Sanskrit, Konkani, Tulu, Saurashtra, Baduga, Japanese and German.
A devotee of Lord Krishna and Shirdi Sai Baba, she has also recorded Hindu devotional music on Meera.
Her contemporaries include Ghantasala, Dr.Rajkumar,P. Susheela, Vani Jayaram, K J Yesudas, L R Eeswari, P. Jayachandran, P. Leela, K. S. Chithra, Sujatha, Jency, P B Srinivas and of course S P Balasubramanyam. She is the inspiration for many upcoming female playback singers.
S. Janaki married V.Ramprasad. She is now settled in Chennai, lives with her son Murali Krishna, who acted in few films and has an audio business of his own; and his wife Uma Murali Krishna, a classical dancer (Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi); they have two daughters Amruthavarshini and Apsara.
She is also a close relative of carnatic classical vocalist, Garimella Balakrishna Prasad.