S. Janaki Biography

About S. Janaki

S. Janaki is a famous female Indian singer of South India. She was born on April 23, 1938 in Pallapatla, Repalle village, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh. S. Janaki's genres of music include playback singing as well as religious music. Popularly known as 'the Melody Queen of South India', S. Janaki had a huge fan following during her reigning days. With a magnificent voice that stirs her listeners, she has a unique capability to sing in a range of stunning pitch and tones, along with swift changes to match emotions that stimulate the dormant mind to witness reality. Singing a variety of songs incorporating different moods, some rebellious, off-beat, imitative, and worshipful in nature, she left her audience spellbound and mesmerized.

Life Story

S. Janaki's journey into music began at the young age of three, where she was trained and guided by Sree Paidiswamy, who strengthened her musical interests over her childhood years. Advised by her uncle and mentor, Dr. Chandrashekar, S. Janaki shifted to Madras where she developed her talents further. S.Janaki's dramatic musical career then began with her singing at AVM Studio. In 1957, music director T. Chalapati Rao, offered S. Janaki her first lucky break to sing in a Tamil film 'Vidhiyin Vilayattu' and later a Telugu film MLA. Since then, S. Janaki musical career soared to great heights.


Her contributions to the music industry in South India have been immense. Performing alongside prominent names such as P. Susheela, Vani Jayaram, K J Yesudas, S P Balasubramanyam and Jayachandran, the lady was a renowned figure in the musical circuit. Janaki sung in all south Indian languages with P B Srinivas, who was one of the most popular singers. Besides being a spectacular singer, a brilliant lyricist and an awesome composer for Tamil and Telugu films, she has also sung innumerable songs in various Indian languages, including Hindi, Bengali, English, Sanskrit, Konkani, Oriya, Tulu, Baduga, Japanese, German, and Malyalam. In fact, she recorded the last song of her career in Malyalam. S. Janaki has sung thousands of songs in Kannada. Janaki says that "Shiva shiva ennada naaligeyeke", a Kannada song from the movie Hemavathi, was the toughest song of her career. The song was composed by L Vaidyanathan and was in two different ragas Thodi and Aabhogi. Janaki also said that she had prayed before recording the song. S. Janaki has also released devotional music cassettes on Meera.

Awards and Achievements

Throughout her career, S. Janaki has received many awards for her efforts, dedication and contribution towards her love for music and the music industry. Her award categories include National Film Awards, Mirchi Music Awards, Filmfare Awards South, Kerala State Film Awards, Nandi Awards, Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, Orissa State Film Awards and Filmfare Awards. Some of these awards are listed below as:
  • The Sur Singar Award, in 1987.
  • The Government of Tamil Nadu awarded her the 'Kalai Mamani' award in 1986 and the State Film Awards for the best Playback singer, (seven times).
  • The Government of Kerala awarded her the Cinema 'Achiever Award' in 2002 and the State Film Awards for the best Playback singer (fourteen times).
  • The Special Jury 'Swaralaya Yesudas' Award for outstanding performance in music, in 2005.
  • The National Film Awards for the best Playback singer, (four times) by the Government of India
  • The State Film awards for the best Playback singer, (ten times) by the Government of Andhra Pradesh
  • National Awards for songs for the following films including '16 vayadhinile' (1976, Tamil film), 'Oppol' (1980, Malayalam film), 'Sithar' (1984, Telugu film), and 'Thevar Magan' (1992, Tamil film).

Her special honours include Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1986, Sursinger Award for Mayuri (Hindi Version) in 1987, Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award - South in 1997, Cinema 'Achiever Award' from the Government of Kerala in 2002, and many more. She received the latest award in 2016, Life Time Achievement Award from SIIMA for Outstanding Contribution in all South Indian Languages.

Apart from these, she is also the first recipient of many awards like M S Baburaj Award, P. Susheela trust National Award, V Dakshinamoorthi Award and Ramu Karyat Foundation Award.

S. Janaki now resides with her actor son, Murali Krishna and his family. She quit her career in September 2016 and mentioned her age as the reason for the decision. She clarified that neither she will be recording anymore, nor she will be singing at functions. The mellifluous and dulcet voice of S. Janaki still remains embedded in the minds and hearts of her devoted listeners.

Facts about S Janaki

NamesS Janaki
Full NameSishtla Sreeramamurthy Janaki
Nick Name (Also known as)Janakiamma
Date of Birth23 April 1938 (age 78)
Birth PlacePalapatla, Repalle, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
Zodiac signTaurus
Father's Name 
Mother's name 
Marital status 
Residence Address 
Debut FilmVidhiyin Vilayattu (Tamil)
Twitter Handle

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Last Updated on : May 22, 2017


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