Nithyasree Mahadevan, (born 25 August 1973) also referred to as S. Nithyashri, is an eminent Carnatic musician and playback singer for film songs in many Indian languages. Mahadevan has performed in all major sabhas in India and has presented her concerts in many destinations around the world. She has received multiple awards and honours, and has released more than 500 albums.
She is best known for her full-throated rendition of the chart-busting A. R. Rahman composition, "Kannodu Kaanbadhellam" - her playback debut song in the Tamil movie Jeans.Methil Renuka (2000). "Keeping tune with times". India Today (Thomson Living Media India Limited) 25: 292.
Nithyasree was born to Lalitha Sivakumar and I. Sivakumar. Her paternal grandmother, D. K. Pattammal, and her granduncle, D. K. Jayaraman, were prominent Carnatic vocalists who were established disciples of Ambi Dikshithar, Papanasam Sivan, Koteeswara Iyer, T.L.Venkataramayyar and others. Her maternal grandfather was the mridangam maestro, Palghat Mani Iyer.
Nithyasree first learnt music from her mother, Lalitha Sivakumar. Like her mother, Nithyasree was also the disciple of D. K. Pattammal, and would accompany her in concert. Her father, an accomplished mridangist and disciple of his father-in-law Palghat Mani Iyer, constantly shows his support and accompanies her when she performs. Nithyasree has also been vocally accompanied in some concerts by her niece and disciple, Lavanya Sundararaman.
Nithyasree was married to V. Mahadevan, a mechanical engineer, until his death in 2012. Tanujasree and Tejasree, their two daughters, have also accompanied their mother on stage in concert, and gave their first performance on television during a guest appearance on Airtel Super Singer Junior, a musical talent TV show telecast by Vijay TV."The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Coimbatore News : D.K. Pattammal's biography to be released". The Hindu. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 6 May 2010. Aruna Chandaraju (20 May 2005). "The Hindu : Entertainment Bangalore / Music : Proud pedigree is not all". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 April 2014. "Singer Nithyasree's husband ends life by jumping in river – The Times of India". Times of India. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2014. M.K.Balagopal (6 November 2003). "The Hindu : A masterly performance". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 April 2014. "The Hindu : Retail Plus Hyderabad : Audio Release". The Hindu. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2014. Rayan Rozario (30 June 2003). "The Hindu : Singing soothing notes". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 April 2014. Bhanu Kumar (23 July 2011). "Blooming bud – Mumbai Mirror". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 20 March 2015. "The Hindu: An Evening of Melody". The Hindu. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2014. Petlee Peter & R. Sujatha (21 December 2012). "A big shock to music lovers – The Hindu". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 April 2014. Rajagopalan Venkataraman (21 December 2012). "Pall of gloom descends on Kotturpuram – The New Indian Express". New Indian Express. Retrieved 16 April 2014. B. Ramadevi (21 December 2012). "The Hindu : Friday Review Chennai / Music : Deluge of ragas and songs". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
ContentsMusical career1.1 First performance1.2 Thematic presentations1.3 Touring1.4 Playback singing1.5 Music director and composer1.6 Television works1.7 Titles, awards and other recognition
Nithyasree's first public Carnatic performance was at the age of 14. The 1 hour concert, which was scheduled between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm, was held for the Youth Association For Classical Music on 10 August 1987. Prominent Carnatic musicians that were present at the concert, included D. K. Pattammal, D. K. Jayaraman, as well as the chief guest at that concert, K. V. Narayanaswamy.
She has given numerous concerts consisting of only patriotic songs to commemorate the 50th year of Indian Independence, a few with D. K. Pattammal before her grandmother stopped performing in public.
D. K. Jayaraman and D. K. Pattammal were known for singing and popularising the compositions of Papanasam Sivan, having learnt them directly from the composer himself. Nithyasree has continued this tradition. She has also given a lecture demonstration in Coimbatore for Manoranjitham on "Papanasam Sivan – A Legend", and made two special thematic albums that solely contained his compositions.
Like D. K. Pattammal, Nithyasree presented a concert consisting solely of compositions set to raga Bhairavi. Nithyasree's concert was presented in 1994 over a duration of 3 hours, and consisted of 17 compositions in total. Similarly, in 1999, her album "BHAIRAVI" was released by Charsur Digital Workstation which solely consisted of a Ragam Tanam Pallavi in ragas containing the name "Bhairavi".
Like D. K. Pattammal, Nithyasree has also popularised compositions of Gopalakrishna Bharathi. She presented a paper on the Life and Contribution of Gopalakrishna Bharathi for the Music Department of PSG College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore. Her three thematic albums that solely consisted of his compositions have been very popular, both online and offline.
Nithyasree Mahadevan has more than 750 albums to her credit on various themes and titles which are very popular among rasikas.
Nithyasree Mahadevan has performed in all major sabhas all over India and has presented her concerts in the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, Belgium, New Zealand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and various other destinations throughout the world.
Nithyasree Mahadevan made her debut as a playback singer after being invited by prominent music producer, A. R. Rahman to record a song for the Tamil film, Jeans starring Aishwarya Rai, Prashanth and Nassar. Her playback debut song "Kannodu Kaanbadhellam" became an instant hit after the film's release, and won her the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for 1998.
After her instant success in 1998, Nithyasree began recording more songs for A. R. Rahman in the same combination, like "Minsara Kanna" for the 1999 film Padayappa, "Sowkiyama Kannae" for the 1999 film Sangamam, and "Manmatha Maasam" for the 2001 film Parthale Paravasam. These songs again were successfully received in digital stores following the release of the 2006 compilation Introducing A. R. Rahman.
Some of her other Tamil film songs include "Kumbakonam Sandhayile" from New released in 2004, "Oru Nadhi Oru Pournami" from Samurai released in 2002, "Kana Kaangiren" from Ananda Thandavam as well as "Thaai Thindra Mannae" from the film Aayirathil Oruvan released in 2010.
Nithyasree also recorded songs for films which were in other South Indian languages, including "Raa Raa" for music director Gurukiran in the 2004 Kannada film Apthamithra, "Vaaraai" for music director Vidyasagar in the 2005 Telegu-dubbed film Chandramukhi, and "Varuvayi Thozhi" for composer Ouseppachan in the 2012 Malayalam film Arike.
Music director and composer
Nithyasree Mahadevan has composed music for songs, and has composed background scores for studio album recordings.
Nithyasree has appeared as a guest judge in various reality TV music talent shows, often aired on Tamil language TV channels. She appeared as a judge in Zee Tamil's Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2009 Challenge, before appearing as a judge for Vijay TV in seasons 2, 3, and 4 of Airtel Super Singer Junior, seasons 3 and 4 of Airtel Super Singer, and the debut episode of Super Singer Celebrity Season. She also appeared as a guest judge on episodes 22 and 23 of Indian Voice which was aired in October 2012 on Mazhavil Manorama, a Malayalam language TV channel.
Nithyasree was also a permanent judge in reality TV music talent shows. In 2014, Nithyasree was a permanent judge in season 3 of Raj TV's Carnatic music reality-talent show, Tanishq Swarna Sangeetham, having previously appeared as a guest judge at various levels in earlier seasons of the show. Nithyasree is currently appearing as a permanent judge in the debut season of Jaya Super Singer South India which is being aired on Jaya TV.
She sang several advertisement jingles for various companies, including more recently Sree Kumaran Thangamaligai which was recorded and aired on various Tamil language TV channels. Nithyasree has also sang title songs for various TV serials which were recorded and telecast in South India, including Chithi - a mega serial originally aired on Sun TV.
Titles, awards and other recognition
Nithyasree is a "Top Rank" graded artist of Akashvani, and All India Radio, Chennai. She received the "Best Concert Award" for 6 years from the Madras Music Academy, and won the Kalaimamani award from the Government of Tamil Nadu, who subsequently appointed her as a member in the Expert Committee panel in the "IYAL ISAI NATAKA MANDRAM". During her career, Nithyasree has been bestowed with numerous other titles, and won numerous other awards and prizes.Cite error: The named reference HinduNov03 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "Jaya TV's Margazhi Mahautsavam". Season 2007. 31 December 2007. Jaya TV. Maximum Media. Missing or empty |title= (help) "Three Hours of Bhairavi". Sruti, india's premier music and dance magazine (122): 13. November 1994. Cite error: The named reference HinduJun03 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). S.Aishwarya (9 June 2007). "Steeped in tradition - The Hindu". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 January 2015. Sangeetha (31 July 2009). "The Hindu : Friday Review Thiruvananthapuram / Interview : Musical legacy". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 April 2014. "Miss & Mrs: En Manadhai Nee Arivai - The Hindu". The Hindu. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2015. "'SaReGaMaPa 2009 Challenge' - Zee TV Finals". Dinamalar (in Tamil) (Chennai, Tamil Nadu). 31 October 2009. G. Prasad (17 October 2011). "Children pitch it right at audition - The Hindu". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2014. "TV Stars turn Super Singers – The Times of India". Times of India. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. "Rhythm Divine – The Hindu". The Hindu. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014. "Tribute to the Trinity – The Hindu". The Hindu. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014. "Swarna Sangeetham, a talent hunt for Carnatic singers – The Hindu". The Hindu. 5 February 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2014. Cite error: The named reference HinduOct08 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Sarath Malalasekera (24 August 2002). "Online Edition of Daily News". The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. Retrieved 28 December 2014. SVK (4 February 2000). "The Hindu : An atmosphere of tranquillity". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 April 2014. "The Hindu : Nithyashree awarded 'Isai Peroli'". The Hindu. 2 December 2001. Retrieved 20 April 2014. "Nithyashree honoured again". Kutcheri Buzz. 11 December 2001. Retrieved 26 March 2003. "The Hindu : 'Padma Sadhana' conferred on Nithyasree". The Hindu. 4 January 2004. Retrieved 18 April 2014. "Title conferred on Nithyasree – The Hindu". The Hindu. 27 December 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2014. "JAYADHARINI TRUST". Jayarathna Awardees. Jayadharini Trust. Retrieved 18 April 2014. "Awards". Sathyabama University. Retrieved 21 April 2014. "Award for Nithyashri Mahadevan". Lakshman Shruthi. 4 December 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2014. Chennai December Season 2010 : Brahma Gana Sabha opens its new 'season' "The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Awards humble me, says Nithyasree Mahadevan". The Hindu. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2014. "Hamsavinodhini Award for Nithyasree" (PDF). Mambalam Times. 26 November 2011. p. 3. Retrieved 18 April 2014. "Music Season 2010–2011 – Sri Rama Bhaktha Jana Samaj". Indian Heritage – December Madras (Chennai) Music Season. Saigan Connection. Retrieved 18 April 2014. Sruti, india's premier music and dance magazine (329): 49. February 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help) B. Vijayalakshmi (19 September 2013). "Nithyasree 'blessed' by saint-composer". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 18 April 2014. "Navigating party through tempests: Karunanidhi – The Hindu". The Hindu. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014.