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B. R. Chaya, is an Indian, Kannada playback singer, stage performer and a popular Sugama Sangeetha singer

B. R. Chaya

Bengaluru Ramamurthy ChayaBengaluru Ramamurthy Chaya, popularly known as B. R. Chaya, is an Indian, Kannada playback singer, stage performer and a popular Sugama Sangeetha singer from Karnataka state.

Chaya was born to B. Ramamurthy and S. G. Janaki. She was a music lover from her childhood and was called a “child prodigy” and received her first music lessons from her grandparents, Krishna Rao and Bhageerathamma. Although Chaya qualified her exam in carnatic classical music, she was interested in light music in general along with film songs particularly.

She was 16 years old when she debuted her first song while visiting a recording studio in Chennai with her family. She was discovered by Ilaiyaraaja who asked her to record a song with S P Balasubrahmanyam. She was advised to stay in Chennai to continue singing but as the city was unfamiliar to her, she worked as a watch mechanic for a few years in HMT after doing a course in horology at RV College, and later represented Karnataka at a Doordarshan national competition in Chennai.

Chaya is the first singer to receive the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the song

Career

Chaya recorded her first song in 1983. She was 16 years old and was on a trip to south India with her family. During the trip, they happened to visit a recording studio in Chennai where Ilaiyaraaja was also recording. After listening to her sing, he made her come back the next day for recording. What followed was a duet between her and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam for the Tamil film Jothi . She recollected that S.P was “very encouraging”. “He saw my notes written in Kannada, and he was excited that I was a Kannada speaker,” she said. But it was her participation in a Doordarshan national competition in Chennai few years later that brought her attention. The music composer, Vijaya Bhasker, was a judge at the competition and was impressed by her singing. He introduced her to the Kannada film industry where she got the chance to record Hindusthaanavu endoo mareyada in Puttana Kanagal’s directorial Amrutha Ghalige.

The song turned out to be a hit and a slew of offers followed after that. She sung more than 15,000 non-film songs which where mostly Kannada bhavageethes in addition to singing songs in Tulu, Konkani, Tamil and Telugu. She became the youngest sir to get an ‘A’ grade in AIR and Doordarshan. Her hit bhavageethes include Karunaalu baa belake, Amma ninna edeyaaladalli, Ondu munjaavinali, Toredu hogadiro jogi, Yaako kaane rudra veene, Ibbani haasu jaaruthide, Huchhu khodi manasu, O enna deshabaandhavare, Ello hudukide illada devara and Bhaagyada bale. She has sung in more than 300 films so far. Her popular film songs include Belli rathadali soorya tanda kirana from Indrajith, Ninnantha appa illa and Haalallaadaroo haaku from Devatha Manushya, Eke heegaayto naanu kaanenu from Anjada Gandu, Rutumaana samputadi from Kaadina benki, and Ibbani tabbida ileya She went on to record songs with singers like M. Balamurali Krishna, P. B. Sreenivas, K. J. Yesudas, Dr. Rajkumar and S. P. Balasubramanyam. She also sang with S. Janaki, P. Susheela, Bangalore Latha, Vani Jairam and Manjula Gururaj. She has worked under music composers Rajan-Nagendra, Vijaya Bhaskar, Upendra Kumar, M. Ranga Rao, Hamsalekha, V. Manohar, C.Ashwath, and H. K. Narayan. Chaya got the chance to sing under P. B. Sreenivas‘s music direction in the movie Helavanakatte Giriyamma.

She is currently a judge on Gaana Chandana and has been doing virtual concerts since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chaya is the first singer to receive the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the song “Ruthumana samputadi” from the movie “Kaadina Benki” in 1988.

Chaya was born on 16 October 1967 and completed her graduation at RV College in Bangalore. She is married to Padmapani Jodidar with whom she has a daughter, Megha. They are currently residing in Bangalore, India.

Personal life

Chaya was born on 16 October 1967 and completed her graduation at RV College in Bangalore. She is married to Padmapani Jodidar with whom she has a daughter, Megha. They are currently residing in Bangalore, India.

Awards and recognitions

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