YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister wrote a letter to the centre, with a request to confer the Bharat Ratna on legendary playback singer S P Balasubrahmanyam, who died at a private hospital in Chennai on September 25 due to complications from Covid-19.
The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian honour in India.
“Our state of Andhra Pradesh is fortunate for being the birthplace (Nellore) of the great music maestro, Sri SP Balasubrahmanyam,” Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
While pointing out that S P Balasubrahmanyam’s “untimely departure” caused distress to fans, the chief minister charted out the singer’s achievements in his 50 years in the industry. In addition to six National Awards for best male playback singer, the singer was the recipient of the Padma Shri in 2001 and the Padma Bhusan in 2011.
“His immense popularity and the deep impact he left on the global music industry in his 50 years of legacy, can be gauged by the continuous flow of rich tributes from music afficionados all over the world. The unending saga of his staggering achievements go beyond music,” the letter stated.
“Earlier the music stalwarts like Smt. Lata Mangeshkar, Sri Bhupen Hazarika, Smt. MS Subbulakshmi, Sri Bismillah Khan and Sri Bhimsen Joshi were conferred Bharat Ratna award by Government of India. As a tribute to the legendary singer for his outstanding contribution in the field of music and art, I request you to confer Bharat Ratna award upon him. This will be the highest recognition to his remarkable work which lasted for 5 decades and stays in our memory forever,” the letter said.