Chithra, popularly known as “Vanambadi” of South India, is a legendary singer who has left an indelible mark on the world of music, especially in the Malayalam film industry. Today marks the 60th anniversary of her iconic film ‘Vanambadi KS’. Over the course of her remarkable four-decade-long career, Chithra has mesmerized the people of Kerala and music lovers worldwide with her grace and melodious voice. Her journey in the Malayalam playback singing scene began in 1979 with the film ‘Attahasam’, directed by MG Radhakrishnan. However, it was in the following year that she gained recognition with the song ‘Arikilo Udurayo..’ from the film ‘November’s Loss’, directed by Padmarajan. Chithra’s first solo hit in Malayalam came with the song ‘Rajanee Paryajoo…’ from the film ‘Manam Ekanan’, composed by Satyan Anthikad and MG Radhakrishnan.
After the success of the song ‘Aalorungi Arangorungi’ in the 1983 film ‘Mammattikkuttiamma’, opportunities came pouring in, and she became even more prominent in the South Indian film song scene. Her talent reached new heights when she got an opportunity in the Tamil film ‘Nee Thane Anthakuil’, directed by the renowned music composer Ilayaraja. Chithra’s contributions to music have been widely recognized and honored. She has won the National Award for Best Playback Singer multiple times and has received various state government awards. Her talent and dedication have been acknowledged by the central government with six prestigious awards. In 2005, she was honored with the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards in India. Chithra’s melodious voice has transcended language barriers, and she has sung over a quarter of a million songs in various languages, including Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu. Her fan base extends not only across Kerala but also beyond the borders of India. Her songs continue to resonate with music enthusiasts, and her impact on the world of music will be cherished for generations to come.