Born in 1929 in Thrissur, Santha P. Nair was a popular playback singer of Malayalam cinema. She is often referred to as the first nightingale in the Malayalam music industry. She completed her education from Queen Mary's College in Chennai and was married to K. Padmanabhan Nair. The couple was blessed with a beautiful daughter whom they named as Latha. She worked in All India Radio in Kozhikode before making her career debut. Santha P. Nair breathed her last on 26 July 2008 in Chennai.
Santha P. Nair was born on 5th September, 1929 into the famous Ambady family to Vasudeva Poduval and Lakshmy in Thrissur, Kerela. She completed her education from Queen Mary's College in Chennai. She got married to the famous writer and director K. Padmanabhan, whom she met in the AIR office and the couple had a daughter named Latha Raju. Latha is now a popular Indian actress and singer in Malayalam cinema. Shantha Nair began her singing career in Malayalam films with the movie Thiramala in 1953.
Shantha P. Nair got her first break with the Malayalam movie Thiramala in 1953 and 'Ammathan Thankakudame' a lullaby, was her first song. Prior to which, she was working with All India Radio of Kozhikode as an announcer. From 1951 to 1967, she sang around 200 songs in Malayalam movies. Some of her best songs were 'Kadavathu Thoniyaduthappol', 'Unarunaroo Unikkanna', ‘Poove Nalla Poove,' 'Kadavathu Thoni Aduthapol' and `Kuruvikalai Uyaraam'. She learned Carnatic music from a very young age under Ramanattu Krishnan and Chertala Gopalan Nair. During her lifetime, she held many concerts on Carnatic Music all over the world. Santha P. Nair once got a chance to compose a tune for Ramu Kariat in the absence of Salil Chowdhury and after listening to her, Salil insisted to retain the song composed by Nair without any change till the final release. The song which she composed was Makkathu Poi Varum Maanathe. Later, Nair also did the chorus for Salil Da in the Chemmeen songs. This movie went up to win a National Award as well. In the year 1961 she sang her last song in V Chidambaranath’s movie Murapennu Kadavathu Thoni Aduthapol together with S. Janaki.
Awards and Recognition:
Santha P. Nair won the Sangeet Natak Academy award in the year 1987. She also received the Swaralaya Kairali Yesudas Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
Ill Health and Death:
Santha P. Nair was suffering from major health problems and breathed her last on 26th July 2008. She was 78 at the time.
Daughter: Latha Raju
Son-in-law: J. M. Raju
Grandchildren: Aalap Raju
(FAN OF Mrs. SANTHA PODUVAL NAIR)
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