Nithyasree Mahadevan, (born August 25, 1973) also previously 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 100 commercial albums.
Early life 
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, Muthiah Bhagavathar, and others. Her maternal grandfather was the mridangam maestro, Palghat Mani Iyer.
Her mother, Lalitha Sivakumar, was her first guru (teacher). 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, would constantly show his support and accompany her when she performed.
Music career 
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 and various other destinations throughout the world.
Titles and awards 
Mahadevan's maiden performance was titled 'best concert of the series'. She is an A.I.R. Prize Winner (1990) and has been an 'A' grade artist. She has been awarded the "Yuva Kala Bharathi" title by Bharath Kalachar in 1994, "Innisai Maamani" by Tamil Nadu Welfare Association, "Kalaimamani" by Tamil Nadu Government in 2000, "Isai Paeroli" by Kartik Fine Arts in 2001, and various other prestigious awards such as ", "Padma Sadhana" (2004), and "Naada Kovida" (2006). She has received "Best Concert Award" from The Music Academy during the music festivals a couple of times and has also performed for the "Sangeeth Natak Academy" twice in their International Music Festivals in Bombay and Hyderabad. She has also received the "Best Promising Artiste" from "Mohanam" Music Club, and made a thematic album of compositions popularising the raga Mohanam. She was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Sathyabama University of Jeppiar in Chennai in late 2007.
Mahadevan's first Carnatic performance was for the Youth Association For Classical Music on 10 August 1987. The concert lasted 1 hour, and was scheduled between 6:00pm and 7:00pm. Prominent Carnatic musicians that were present at the concert, included D. K. Pattammal, D. K. Jayaraman, Vijay Siva, R. K. Sriramkumar, 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. Mahadevan 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, Mahadevan 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 two thematic albums that solely consisted of his compositions have been very popular, both online and offline.
Mahadevan's commanding, high-pitched voice is well suited to various genres of music including Carnatic music, devotional music, as well as patriotic and popular songs.
On 3rd February 2013, she returned to her on-stage performance soon after passing through a traumatic period in her life (the untimely death of her husband Mahadevan on 20th December 2012). She was led and accompanied by her friend and veteran singer S. Sowmya. The performance was part of observing the Thyagaraja aradhana (anniversary) at the TTK auditorium of The Music Academy, Chennai. She commenced the concert with Thyagaraja's Telugu keerthana "duDuku gala nannE dora koDuku"
Playback singing 
Mahadevan's introduction to Tamil playback singing came when A.R. Rahman called her to Panchathan Recording Inn, in Chennai, for a voice test sometime in the 1990s. The output from her visit was used for the song "Kannodu Kanbadellam" in the movie Jeans starring Aishwarya Rai and Prashanth. This became particularly popular which resulted in many songs in the same combination like "Minsara Kanna" from Padayappa, "Sowkiyama Kannae" from Sangamam, and "Manmatha Maasam" from Parthale Paravasam.
Some of her other songs include "Kumbakonam Sandhayile" from New, "Oru Nadhi Oru Pournami" from Samurai, "Kana Kaangiren" from Ananda Thandavam as well as "Thaai Thindra Mannae" from the film Aayirathil Oruvan.