11 June 2016
M. S. Subbulakshmi 13.12.2005
A commemorative postage stamp in honour of M. S. Subbulakshmi, who had mesmerised packed audiences the world over with her consummate mastery ofcarnatic music for almost six decades.
Mudurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi popularly known as M.S. was a renowned carnatic vocalist. She was one of the great woman artistes of India who had been able to move the hearts of millions and millions of men and women and was the most beloved idol of the public in the recent annals of Indian Music.
Subbulakshmi was born on September 16, 1916 at Madurai to Smt. Shanmukhavadivu, a celebrated veena artiste of her times. At the tender age of 13, she made her maiden public recital with her mother, who was also her Guru. She studied under Srinivasa Iyengar of Madurai who taught her upto the ‘varnam’stage. In the later years she had the good fortune to learn from several great musicians like Musiri Subramanya Iyer and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer In 1940, she married T Sadasivam, a freedom fighter and a film director. She gained in him a friend, philosopher and mentor.
Two events brought Subbulakshmi early into national prominence. The first was her participation in the All India Dance Conference in Mumbai in 1944 where her performance created a great sensation. The second was her appearance in thelead–role in the film ‘Meera’ produced by her husband where she sang and acted, which brought her instant all-India-fame. So overwhelming was her music that Pandit Nehru crowned her as the “Queen of Song” and Sarojini Naidu, a poet and leader of our freedom movement praised her for the beauty of her voice and the magic of her personality.