K. S. Chithra often credited as Chithra (or Chitra), is an Indian playback singer who has made her mark in the Indian (film) music playback industry. Popularly known as Chinna Kuyil (Little Nightingale) of South India, she has lent her voice to Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Badaga and Punjabi films. She has recorded more than 15,000 film songs and is a recipient of six National Film Awards, five Filmfare Awards and more than thirty different state film...
K. S. Chithra often credited as Chithra (or Chitra), is an Indian playback singer who has made her mark in the Indian (film) music playback industry. Popularly known as Chinna Kuyil (Little Nightingale) of South India, she has lent her voice to Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Badaga and Punjabi films. She has recorded more than 15,000 film songs and is a recipient of six National Film Awards, five Filmfare Awards and more than thirty different state film awards.Born on July 27, 1963, in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, into a family of musicians, Chithra’s talent was recognized and nurtured from an early age by her father, the late Krishnan Nair. He was also her first guru (teacher). Chithra received her extensive training in Carnatic music from Dr. K. Omanakutty, and got a Masters in Music from the University of Kerala. She was selected for the National Talent Search Scholarship from the Central Government from 1978–1984. She is married to Vijayashankar, an engineer and businessman. Chithra and Vijayashankar were blessed with their daughter Nandana, born in 2002 after nearly fifteen years of being married. Nandana, who was born with autism, drowned in a pool at a villa in Emirates Hills, Dubai on 14 April, 2011.Chitra was introduced to Malayalam playback singing by M. G. Radhakrishnan in 1979 and went on to become a regular singer for many Malayalam musicians, including Raveendran.Attahasam, Snehapurvam Meera and Njaan Ekananu were the first few films which she recorded her songs. She also performed live concerts with K. J. Yesudas 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 her move up in 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 Chinnakuyil after singing the song "Chinna Kuyil Paadum" from the 1985 released film Poove Poochudava.It was director Fazil who cast her for this
By the mid-eighties, she became the most sought after female singer in Malayalam. She recorded many hit songs for the above listed composers and numerous songs for Ilaiyaraaja in Tamil. She has been acredited as the only female singer to have sung the maximum number of songs for the Academy Award winning composer A. R. Rahman for his Tamil film songs. She also sang for veteran composers such as G. Devarajan, M. S. Viswanathan, K. V. Mahadevan, Ouseppachan, Deva, Vidyasagar, Bharadhwaj, Chakravarthy, M. Jayachandran, M. M. Keeravani, Hamsalekha, Sharreth, Raj-Koti, Rajan-Nagendra, S. A. Rajkumar, Mani Sharma, Harris Jayaraj, Devisri Prasad and many other south Indian music directors.
She has recorded many memorable Hindi songs for various music directors in Bollywood, namely A. R. Rahman, Anand-Milind, Anu Malik, Rajesh Roshan, Viju Shah, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Naushad, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Jatin-Lalit and many others. She also recorded the Hindi versions of her own Tamil songs sung for A. R. Rahman.
Currently, she is one among the panel of judges in the singing reality shows at Kerala (Idea Star Singer) and Tamil Nadu (Airtel Super Singer Junior).A cultural event named Chitra Pournami was held on 15 February 2011 at Thiruvananthapuram to celebrate the 30 glorious career years of Chithra and also to officially launch this organization. The who's who of South Indian music industry attended the event and felicitated Chithra with a Tamboora instrument. The prominent personalities being K. J. Yesudas, V. Dakshinamurthy, Sreekumaran Thampi, P. Susheela, Hariharan, M. G. Sreekumar, Sharath, Sujatha Mohan, Unni Menon, Minmini among others felicitated Chithra and praised her noble cause and intentions to help for the ailing musicians.Chithra has performed all over India, Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, UK, France, U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark.She has in her credit, private albums in Hindi, namely Piya Basanti and Sunset Point. The former was penned by Ustad Sultan Khan and was certified Gold while the latter was penned by Gulzar. Her first ghazal album with Ghulam Ali and Asha Bhosle is ready for release. In 2006, she released an album in dedication to Smt.M.S.Subbulakshmi named My Tribute. It is a collection of krithis and bhajans dedicated to Smt.M.S.Subbulakshmi. Sony Music is planning to release a solo album soon owing to success of Piya Basanti.