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Most popular Tamil singers

by William Gist

Tamil people are an ethnic group from Southern India with a very rich culture. This culture consists of tens of thousands of Tamil singers. Today we are going to focus on one of the most popular and successful Tamil singers.

If you want to know more about these Tamil singers then make sure you read until the end of your top 5 list.

1.   S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

Balasubrahmanyam developed a huge interest in music at a very early age. At this early age, he started studying notation and learning music. He went to the JNTU College of Engineering Anantapur with the plan to become an engineer. However, he left his studies early because of a typhoid infection and joined the Institution of Engineers, Chennai.


In 1964, he continued his interest in music during his engineer studies and started singing in competitions and getting awards. In 1996 Balasubrahmanyam had his first debut as a playback singer in Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna. His mentor scored him a lot of roles in movies as a playback singer during the 60s and 70s.

He became internationally recognized after the 1980 film Sankarabharanam which is considered to be one of the best films to ever emerge from the Southern India film industry. Balasubrahmanyam then continued developing his singing career and became one of the most legendary Tamil singers.

2.   K J Yesudas


Yesudas’ love for music started when he joined the R.L.V Music Academy, Thrippunithura for music training studies. He continued his studies in a few other schools until 1961 when he recorded his first famous song Jaathi Bhedam Matha Dwesham. He was then accepted as a playback singer in the Malayalam film “Attention Penne Attention” to work with Santha P. Nair who was a well-known singer at that time. This is when he began his famous career of playback singing. His biggest breakthrough was with Bharya, a very popular Malayalam film.

3.   T M Soundararajan


Soundararajan first started singing when he was only seven years old. He started his studies in Carnatic Music from the high school music teacher, Chinnakonda Sarangapani Bhagavathar. He started having his first concerts at the age of 23. Soundararaj was rejected at first by recording technicians and music composers because his voice was not trained enough. He finally got his deserved recognition in the 1950s with the songs in the movie “Raathey Ennai Vittu Pogathedi”

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4.   Shankar Mahadevan


Shankar Mahadevan was born in Chembur of Mumba into a Tamil Family. He started learning Carnatic music and Hindustani classical music at an early age and even played the veena at the age of five. Mahadevan studied music under his mentor, Pandit Shrinivas Khale.

He graduated in 1988 with a degree in Software Engineering and became a software engineer of the Leading Edge Company. After working for some years as a software engineer in the company he finally ventured to chase his dream as a playback music singer.

5.   Hariharan


Hariharan is one of the most famous Tamil ghazal singers and composers with more than thirty albums released. In his early career, he made a few successful ghazal albums, writing most of them by himself. One of his first ghazal albums was Aabshar-e Ghazal with Asha Bhosle, which got gold.

He also has sung more than 500 Tamil songs and 200 Hindi songs as a playback singer for movies.