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    SP Balasubrahmanyam Laid To Rest With State Honours; Fans, Film Stars, Politicians Pay Tribute

    ET Online and Agencies|
    ​SPB: A Life Of Music & Lyrics A Final Farewell
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    ​SPB: A Life Of Music & Lyrics A Final Farewell

    Versatile singer, music composer and actor SP Balasubrahmanyam hailed as ' Padum Nila' (singing moon) by his millions of fans was laid to rest at his farmhouse, on Saturday, with a 24-gun salute by the Tamil Nadu Police. The farmhouse at Tamaraipakkam in the Tiruvallur district teemed with his fans, well-wishers and industry colleagues for the funeral, with 500 police personnel deployed to regulate the crowd.

    The 74-year-old singer, who had been admitted to Chennai's MGM Healthcare on August 5 after testing positive for Covid-19, passed away on Friday. The health condition of the singer, who initially had only mild symptoms of the illness, deteriorated for the first time on August 13 and he was moved to the ICU and put on life support. He had tested negative for Covid-19 earlier this month, but continued to be on ventilator.

    ​In Memoriam
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    ​In Memoriam

    SPB's popularity spanned across states and languages. And that explains why Southern star Vijay, Tamil Nadu Culture Minister K Pandiarajan, Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Minister Anil Kumar Yadav, directors Bharathiraja and Ameer, music composer Devi Sri Prasad, singer Mano, actor Arjun and comedian Mayilsamiwere were among those who turned up to pay their last respects.

    The singer's mellifluous voice had earned a variety of sobriquets from his fans including 'Isai Megam' (music cloud that showered songs), 'Gaandha kuralon' (Man of a magnetic voice) for his .

    Here: Vijay consoles the singer's son SP Charan.

    ​The Last Journey
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    ​The Last Journey

    The singer's son film-maker son SP Charan performed the last rites amid Vedic chants by priests. Draped in a zari dhoti, SPB's mortal remains, with his glasses on and smeared with 'Thiruneeru' (sacred ashes) on the forehead, were buried as chants of "SPB Pugazh Onguga" (Live long SPB's fame) rang in the air.

    With policemen, their rifles tucked under their arms, marching along, the body was brought on a traditional hay-lined bier to the final resting place from a 'pandal' earmarked for people to pay homage and perform rituals.

    ​An Outpour Of Love
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    ​An Outpour Of Love

    Though the police had initially said only about 150 people would be allowed to pay homage, hundreds trooped to the singer's idyllic house to pay homage.

    SPB's first song was in the 1967 Telugu film 'Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna', and his debut song in Tamil 'Athanodu Ippadi Irundhu' featured in the film 'Hotel Rambha' that never saw the light of the day. His entry in the Tamil film industry finally happened with 'Shanthi Nilayam' and 'Adimaippen', both of which hit the screens in 1969.

    ​Living ​On Through His Music
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    ​Living ​On Through His Music

    SPB, who did not train to be a singer and originally aspired to be an engineer before being charmed by music, holds the Guinness World Record for singing the highest number of songs. The legend sang over 40,000 songs in various languages through the course of his journey.

    In 1981, he sang 21 songs in Kannada for the composer Upendra Kumar in a span of 12 hours, going on to set a record for the most number of songs in a single day by any singer.

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