Most Indians are aware of the genius of M S Subbulakshmi, classical exponent extraordinaire; a purist and the most respected singer of her generation. Now more of the world will know about this extraordinary Indian. The UN is to issue a commemorative stamp in her name. Read on to know more about this and other facts about the virtuoso that you didn’t know.
Coinciding with the celebrations to mark our 70th Independence Day, a stamp to mark M S Subbulakshmi’s birth centenary will be issued by the UN Postal Services next week. The legendary singer had performed at the world body way back in 1966 and was the first Indian to perform there. There will also be a photo exhibition of her life and times.
Now it will be A R Rahman who will be performing in front of the international dignitaries and diplomats at a special concert on 15th August 2016; the second Indian artist to perform at the UN Hall after M S Subbulakshmi. The juxtaposition of the legendary classical singer's life and the present day virtuoso’s performance will highlight the way that India values its traditions while keeping pace with new developments.
India's highest civilian honour had never been presented to a musician before it was awarded to the Carnatic exponent.
She performed at the prestigious Madras Music Academy in 1929; for the academy it was a huge break from tradition to permit the performance of a young girl.
Sevasadanam (1938) was her first movie but it was her performance in Meerabai and the bhajans that she sang for the film that shot her to the limelight.
A popular shade of the Kancheepuram Saree, is called MS Blue after her.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award is something like the Nobel Peace Prize of Asia. M S Subbulakshmi was the first Indian musician to receive this award.
In December 2005, the Indian postal service issued a stamp in her honour.
Most of the prize money received by way of awards was donated by her to charity and she also raised more for good causes by performing at hundreds of charity concerts.
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