Kollur (Karnataka): Music legend and playback singer K J Yesudas turned 75 today and celebrated his birthday by visiting Mookambika temple at Kollur in Karnataka where he offered 'Sangeetharchana' before the Goddess.
The iconic singer, who has enthralled music fans over five decades through thousands of film songs in Malayalam and other Indian languages, performed Carnatic recital at the shrine as he used to do on most of his birthdays in recent years.
He was joined by members of his family, disciples and scores of fans who gathered at the shrine knowing that he would be there on his birthday.
When some in the gathering urged him to make a brief speech, Yesudas said he would rather concentrate on music rather than making speeches or posing for photos.
Born on January 10, 1940 at Fort Kochi in Kerala as son of stage actor-singer Augustin Joseph and Elizabeth, Yesudas took early lessons in music from his father.
After completing schooling at his home town, he took music as his main subject joining RLV Music College and later in the Government Music College in Thiruvananthapuram from where he graduated with top honours.
His film career began by singing a score composed by eminent music director M B Sreenivasan in 'Kalapadukal' in 1961. The song, whose theme was the message of social harmony propounded by saint-reformer Sree Narayana Guru, was well-received.
Since then he has rendered songs of leading Malayalam lyricists like Vayalar Rama Varma, P. Bhaskaran, Sreekumaran Thampi and O N V Kurup and music directors including K Raghavan, G Devarajan, M S Baburaj, Salil Chowdhury, M S Viswanathan and Ravi.
Every music director has acknowledged the quality of his voice, ability to quickly learn compositions and render songs without losing the emotion they sought to reflect.
An advocate of inter-faith harmony, Yesudas has also sung hundreds of Hindu, Christian and Muslim devotional songs, with the most famous being 'Harivarasanam...' played every evening at Sabarimala before closure of the portals of the hill shrine.
Winner of several awards, he has rendered compositions in many Indian languages as well as in English, Russian, Arabic and Latin.