K.S. Chitra Popularly known as Chinna Kuyil (Little Nightingale) of South India, she has shown her versatility in languages by singing in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Badaga and Punjabi films. Chitra has gained immense popularity for her melodious voice. It was her father who recognized and nurtured her talent by becoming her first guru. The year 1979 brought Chitra her first playback singing opportunity in Malayalam and since then, there was nothing that could ever stop her. She also performed live concerts with K. J. Yesudas in India and abroad and that was a turning point in her career. She has won the award for the Best Playback Singer more than 12 times and has the unique distinction of being the first female singer in the history of South Indian film playback singing to be honored by all the four southern state governments as the best playback singer.
K. S. Chitra was born in capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram. Right from her young age, she learnt the music basics from her father, late Krishnan Nair who was a singer and composer of repute. At the graduate and post-graduate levels as well, she chose to learn music and completed her B. A. in Music with the third rank from the university. She went on to complete her MA in music from Kerala University, for which she was chosen under the aegis of the National Talent Search Scholarship programme and was trained by Professor K.Omanakutty.
In the year 1979, M. G. Radhakrishnan introduced Chitra to Malyalam playback singing. “Attahasam”, “Snehapurvam Meera” and “Njaan Ekananu” were the first few films which she recorded her songs. Along with K. J. Yesudas, she also performed live concerts in India and abroad and that was a turning point in her career. Veteran music directors such as Raveendran, Shyam, Jerry Amaldev, Kannoor Rajan and Johnson also helped climb her career ladder. She made her debut in the Tamil film industry through the song “Poojaikketra Poovithu” from the film Neethana Antha Kuyil, which was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. She was given the title ‘Chinna Kuyil’ after singing the song “Chinna Kuyil Paadum” from the 1985 released film “Poove Poochudava”. It was director Fazil who cast her for this.
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