Film music legend Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam has died; he was 74.
According to reports on on BBC News and CNN, the acclaimed Indian singer had been hospitalised and placed in intensive care after being diagnosed with COVID-19 back in August.
Balasubrahmanyam was reportedly first admitted to hospital in the southern city of Chennai in early August after testing positive for the coronavirus. He later tested negative in early September, but continued to receive life support treatment in intensive care.
According to a statement from the hospital where Balasubrahmanyam was being treated, the musician died of cardio-respiratory arrest. His son, S.P. Charan, provided multiple updates on his father’s health on Instagram since his diagnosis.
Balasubrahmanyam was renowned for his work as a playback singer and would provide vocals for songs in films that actors would lip sync to on screen.
During his acclaimed career, he is thought to have recorded vocals for over 40,000 songs and was celebrated for being able to sing in a variety of musical styles and languages.
His work was sampled by M.I.A. on ‘Bamboo Banga’ from ‘Kala’ and Madlib sampled a song of his on ‘Get It Right’.
His breakthrough film came in 1981 when he sang vocals for the Ek Duuje Ke Liye (We Are Made For Each Other), a romance tragedy that became one of Bollywood’s biggest hits.
Balasubrahmanyam also won several National Film Awards as well as two of India’s top civilian honours, the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.