S Janaki, lovingly called the Nightingale of the South by millions who grew up with her melodious numbers, has called it quits on her singing career.
The 79-year old playback singer ended her career with a public concert in Mysuru on Saturday night. “I am happy with my career. I want to stop singing when I am doing well. This is also to make way for several young and new artistes,” the Deccan Chronicle quoted her as telling tearful fans who did not want her to stop.
The audience at the Manasaganothri amphitheatre gave her a standing ovation and Janaki who arrived with her son Murali Krishna was emotional at the response. Music director Raja Nagendra and Kannada film artistes Jayanthi, Bharathi Vishnuvardhan and Hema Chaudhary were among those who turned up for the concert.
Hailing from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Janaki is one of the best-known playback singers in South India and over her six-decade career has recorded 48,000 songs in 17 languages including Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi and Arabic.
She has four National Film Awards and more than 30 different State Film Awards. In 2013, she refused the offer of a Padma Bhushan award saying it had come “too late”.