K. S. Chithra

"Chithra" redirects here. For other uses, see Chitra.
K. S. Chithra
Background information
Birth name Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra
Also known as Melody Queen of indian Cinema
Nightingale of South India
Little Nightingale of India
Vanambadi in Kerala
Chinna Kuyil in Tamil Nadu
Sangeeta Saraswathi in Andhra Pradesh&Telangana
Kannada Kogile in Karnataka
Piya Basanti in Mumbai
Born (1963-07-27) 27 July 1963
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Genres Playback singing, Carnatic music, Hindustani music
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1979–present
Labels Audiotracs
Website kschithra.com
FB : KSChithra Official
Twitter : KSChithra
Instagram : KSChithra

Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, often credited as K. S. Chithra or simply Chithra, is an Indian playback singer from Kerala. Chithra also sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music. She has sung in a number of Indian languages as well as Urdu, Latin, Arabic, Sinhalese and English. She has recorded more than 25,000 Songs for various films and albums. She is a recipient of six National Film Awards, six Filmfare Awards South and 31 different state film awards. She has won all the four south Indian state film awards.[1] She was honored with India's civilian honor Padma Shri [2] in 2005. Her song "Kannalane/Kehna Hi Kya" from the film Bombay (1995) was included in The Guardian's "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" list.[3] Chithra is referred to as Chinna Kuyil (English: Little Nightingale) or Keralathinte Vanambadi (English: Nightingale of Kerala) or Nightingale of South India.[4]

Early life

Born in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, into a family of musicians, Chithra's father, the late Krishnan Nair, was also her first guru (teacher). Her elder sister K. S. Beena is also a playback singer. Chithra received her training in Carnatic music from Dr. K. Omanakutty, passed B.A. in music with first class and third rank from the University of Kerala, and completed a master's degree in music.[1] She was selected for the National Talent Search Scholarship from the Central Government from 1978 to 1984.[4]


Playback singing

Chithra was introduced to Malayalam playback by M. G. Radhakrishnan in 1979 and went on to become a regular singer for many Malayalam musicians, including Raveendran.[1] Attahasam, Snehapoorvam Meera and Njan Ekananu were the first few films in which she recorded her songs.[1] She also performed live concerts with K. J. Yesudas in India and abroad.[1] She worked with music directors including Raveendran, Shyam, Jerry Amaldev, Mohan Sithara, Kannur Rajan and Johnson.[1] She made her debut in the Tamil film industry through the song "Poojaikketha 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.[1] Director Fazil cast her for this song after Ilaiyaraaja got impressed with her song sung in original version in Malayalam for the film Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu in 1985 directed by himself.

By the mid-1980s, she had recorded many successful songs for composers in Malayalam, and numerous songs for Ilayaraja and others in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. She is the female singer who has sung the maximum number of songs for the Academy Award winning composer A. R. Rahman for his Tamil film songs.. Out of 150 Tamil films from A.R.Rahman , Chitra lent her voice for 103 films. She also sang for composers such as G. Devarajan, V. Dakshinamoorthy, M. B. Sreenivasan, M. S. Viswanathan, Ravi, M. G. Radhakrishnan, Johnson, Raveendran, Shyam, Rajan-Nagendra, K. V. Mahadevan, M. M. Keeravani, S. P. Venkatesh, Ouseppachan, Hamsalekha, Deva, Mohan Sithara, Vidyasagar, Bharadhwaj, Chakravarthy, M. Jayachandran, M. G. Sreekumar, Berny-Ignatius, Sharreth, Ramesh Narayan, Deepak Dev, Raj-Koti, S. A. Rajkumar, Mani Sharma, Harris Jayaraj, Devisri Prasad, Yuvan Shankar Raja, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Bijibal, Mejo Joseph, Sejo John, Shahabaz Aman, Alphons Joseph, S. Thaman, Rahul Raj, Gopi Sunder, Ratheesh Vegha, Achu Rajamani, Mickey J Meyer, M. Ghibran, Santhosh Narayanan and many other south Indian music directors.[5]

She has recorded Hindi songs for music directors in Bollywood, including A. R. Rahman, Anand-Milind, Anu Malik, Rajesh Roshan, Viju Shah, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, R D Burman, Naushad Ali, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Jatin-Lalit, Sandeep Chowta, Vishal, and Sandesh. She also recorded the Hindi versions of her own Tamil songs sung for A. R. Rahman.

She recorded maximum duets with K. J. Yesudas, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, M. G. Sreekumar, Mano and rare duets with Kannada thespian Dr.Rajkumar, and has sung maximum songs for Ilaiyaraaja, A. R. Rahman, Ravi, M. M. Keeravani, Hamsalekha, Johnson, Raveendran, M. G. Radhakrishnan, Raj-Koti, Deva, Mani Sharma, Sharreth and M. Jayachandran.

Apart from playback singing, she also appeared among the panel of judges in the singing reality television shows at Kerala (Idea Star Singer and Josco Indian Voice),[6] at Tamil Nadu (Airtel Super Singer Junior),[7] where she also won the award for Best Female Judge and at Andhra Pradesh (MAA TV Super Singer

Studio albums

Chithra recorded her first studio album with Voodoo Rapper for the album called Ragga Raaga in 1993. She recorded the albums in Hindi, Piya Basanti (2000) and Sunset Point. She associated with Ustad Sultan Khan for Piya Basanti which was certified Gold.[8] Sunset Point had eight songs written and narrated by Gulzar and sung by Chithra and Bhupinder.[9] In 2006, she released an album in dedication to M. S. Subbulakshmi named My Tribute. It is a collection of Kritis and bhajans dedicated to Subbulakshmi.[10] In 2009 she released Nightingale: A Salute to Lataji, a musical tribute to Lata Mangeshkar on her 80th birthday.[11] She also recorded many Malayalam albums for K. J. Yesudas, M. Jayachandran and Sharreth compositions. She also planned a ghazal album with Ghulam Ali and Asha Bhosle.[10]

In 2014, Chithra recorded a song at a Singapore studio for A. R. Rahman's private album Raunaq written by Kapil Sibal.[12]

Chithra has established her own recording label, Audiotracs, to promote new artists to collaborate with her as singers, lyricists and music directors.


K.S. Chithra, 2015

Chithra, along with a Kerala-based satellite channel, Asianet Cable Vision (ACV), jointly launched a fundraising organisation, Sneha Nandana, to raise funds for the welfare of retired musicians who have lost their careers due to changes in the music industry. She launched this organisation on the occasion of her completion of three decades in the music playback industry. She said that the fund would provide help to the musicians with financial impediments and those suffering from health problems. A cultural event named Chitra Pournami was held on 15 February 2011 at Thiruvananthapuram to celebrate the 30th year of her career and also to launch this organisation. Attendees included K. J. Yesudas, V. Dakshinamurthy, Sreekumaran Thampi, P. Susheela, Hariharan, P. Jayachandran, Usha Uthup, M.K. Arjunan, Johnson, Shyam, M. Jayachandran, M. G. Sreekumar, Sharath, Sujatha Mohan, Unni Menon, Srinivas, G. Venugopal, Minmini, and Priyadarshan.[13]

Personal life

She is married to Vijayashankar, an engineer and businessman and settled in Chennai. Their only daughter, Nandana, died aged eight, in a pool accident in April 2011 in Dubai.[14][15]


Many singers ,Music directors and Celebritieslike A. R. Rahman, Shreya Ghosal, Shweta Pandit, Chinmayi, Harini, Devi Sri Prasad, Mani Sharma,Sunitha Upadrashta,Usha, Suma Kanakala,Ramya Behara called her as their role model.[16][17][18][19][20][21]

Stage performances

Chithra has performed in India, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia, UK, France, US, Canada, Australia,South Africa,Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Uganda, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark.

Performances outside India

International projects

Awards, honours and recognition

Awards & Honours Wins
Indian honours system
National Film Awards
Kerala State Film Awards
Andhra Pradesh State Film Awards
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards
Karnataka State Film Awards
Orissa State Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Asianet Film Awards
CineMAA Awards
Mathrubhumi Film Awards
Mirchi Music Awards South
Asiavision Awards
Bollywood Movie Awards
Star Screen Awards
MTV Video Music Award
MTV Immies
Cinema Express Awards
Global Indian Music Academy Awards
Film Fans Association Awards
Gamma Indian Music Awards
Gulf Malayalam Music Awards (GMMA)
Santosham Film Awards
Kerala Film Critics Association Awards
South Indian International Movie Awards
Other Awards

Chithra has won six National Awards for best female playback singer.[23] This is the highest number of national awards awarded to any female playback singer. She has won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Singer 15 times.[23] She is the only person to win Kerala State Film Awards most number of times in a row (11 times).She has won the Andhra Pradesh State Film awards Best Female Singer 10 times, most number of wins.She is the only person to win Andhra Pradesh State Film Awards most number of times in a row (4 times twice) i.e. from 1990-1993 & 1996-1999. She has won the following awards:

Indian honours system:

Special Honour:

National Film Awards:[23]

Filmfare Awards:

Filmfare Awards South:

Kerala State Film Awards:

Nandi Awards (Andhra Pradesh State Film Awards):

Tamil Nadu State Film Awards:

Karnataka State Film Awards:

Orissa State Film Awards:

Bollywood Movie Awards:

Global Indian Music Academy Awards (GIMA):

MTV Video Music Award:

Star Screen Awards:

MTV Immies Awards:

South Indian International Movie Awards:

Mirchi Music Awards South:

CineMAA Awards :

Santosham Film Awards:

Asianet Film Awards:

Mathrubhumi Film Awards:

Gulf Malayalam Music Awards (GMMA):

Kerala Film Critics Association Awards:

Asiavision Awards:

Gulf Andhra Music Awards (GAMA):

Other honours:

Other awards:

Other achievements


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 S.R. Ashok Kumar (21 July 2005). "One more feather in her cap". The Hindu.
  2. 1 2 "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  3. 1 2 "Love: part one of 1000 songs everyone must hear". The Guardian. 14 March 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  4. 1 2 Nair, Sulekha (23 January 2001). "Nightingale of the south". Express India. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  5. "Raja's contribution to Chitra's glory". kschitra.info. 2008. Archived from the original on 9 July 2009.
  6. Archived 23 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. "Airtel Super Singer Junior 2".
  8. 1 2 Subha J Rao (28 October 2004). "Musically yours". The Hindu.
  9. "Gulzar's Sunset Point". Gulzaronline.com. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  10. 1 2 K. Jeshi (8 December 2006). "Song all the way". The Hindu.
  11. "CHORDS AND NOTES". The Hindu. 2 July 2009.
  12. "Recording a song with K S Chithra in Singapore for Raunaq". Twitter page. 2014.
  13. "Chitra launches fund for unemployed musicians". 24dunia.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  14. "KS Chithra's daughter reportedly drowned and died in Emirates Hills pool". Emirates247.com. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  15. "Singer Chithra's daughter drowns in dubai". Khaleej Times. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  16. puneet jha (27 April 2008). "A R Rahman Concert - A Magnificent Musical Show". "Orkut".
  17. "Chitrapournami -- Felicitating singer Chitra! -- Part 3". Youtube. 9 March 2011.
  18. "sp balasubrahmanyam facebook". facebook page. 27 July 2016.
  19. "Ulgadana Ravu Flowers Inaugural - Episode Part-A". Youtube. 10 July 2015.
  20. "Sonu nigam twitter". twitter page. 9 October 2016.
  21. "Sunidhi chauhan twitter". twitter paper. 19 February 2012.
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 "K S Chithra". Facebook. Archived from the original on 12 July 2013.
  23. 1 2 3 "Audience determines today's music, says K S Chitra". The Hindu. 29 April 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  24. "Sathyabhama doctorates for scientist, stars". The New Indian Express. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  25. "Sunita,Chitra,Shankar receive Lata Mangeshkar award | Latest News | ManaTeluguMovies". News.manatelugumovies.net. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  26. "K S Chithra Bags Vanitharatnam Award". www.filmibeat.com.
  27. "K S Chithra wins Vanitharatnam award". Times of India. 21 June 2014.
  28. "52nd National Film Awards" (PDF). Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  29. Archived 6 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
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  33. http://gulfnews.com/life-style/celebrity/mammootty-and-john-abraham-rule-asiavision-awards-1.1255582
  34. http://www.emirates247.com/entertainment/mammotty-kavya-madhavan-bag-asiavision-awards-2013-11-05-1.526962
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  36. Onmanorama Staff (16 November 2016). "Asiavision Movie Awards 2016 announced: and the winners are...". Malayala Manorama. Archived from the original on 16 November 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  37. Staff Reporter. "Limca Book of Records released in Malayalam". The Hindu.
  38. "Chitra, Padma Subrahmanyam to receive Women Achiever awards". The New Indian Express.
  39. "Women Achievers Honoured at Launch of Limca Book of Records". The New Indian Express.
  40. Somro ’15: A new experience for music lovers
  41. "Yesudas gets 'Gayaka Rathnam' award". www.oneindia.com.
  42. Press Trust of India (7 January 2012). "`Aadminte Makan Abu chosen best film by Thikkurissy foundation". IBN Live. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  43. "ETV Kannada Sangeet Samman, Viacom18 group, INS, Mr. Ravish Kumar, Mr. Jaideep Singh".
  44. 1 2 "Chitra, Vijay yesudas, Jayachandran win CERA BIG Malayalam Music Award". kerala9.com.
  45. "YouTube".
  46. "Playback singer Chitra chosen for Sangeetha Ratnam award".
  47. Special Correspondent. "Award presented to singer K.S. Chithra". The Hindu.
  48. "AKPS-Menon-trust-award-to-K.S.-Chitra". manoramaonline.
  49. "rajyanthara-sangeetha-puraskaram-for-k-s-chithra". dcbooks.
  50. "asia-vision-award". manoramaonline.

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