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M. S. Subbulakshmi biography, age, birthday, family, performances

M. S. Subbulakshmi was a Carnatic vocalist born and brought up in a family of musicians. Her mother was an established Veena player and her grandmother Akkammal was a renowned violinist herself.

MS Subbulakshmi

M. S. Subbulakshmi biography


M. S. Subbulakhsmi

Full Name

Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi


Sun sign


Known for

She was known for her classical singing and breathed a new life into Carnatic music. She became the defining voice for the ancient Hindu hymns (Bhajans).

Personal Life

Important dates

Birthday – 16th September, 1916

Death – 11th December, 2011 (At the age of 88)

Important places

Birth place – Madurai (Under Madras Presidency during British rule)

Place of death – Chennai, Tamilnadu


Educational qualifications



Father: Subramania Iyer

Mother: Shanmukavadiver Ammal

Siblings: Brother Saktivel and sister Vadivambal

Spouse: T. Sadasivam

Children: None

Professional life


In her early childhood, her mother Shanmukavadiver used to mentor her but later M.S. continued her training under the tutelage of:

Carnatic Music: Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer

Hindustani Music: Pandit Narayanrao Vyas


Subbulakhsmi also starred in Tamil movies and made her debut through Sevasadnam. The role in “Meera” gained her the national prominence.
Achievements and


  1. Padma Bhushan by GOI in 1954
  2. Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1956
  3. Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1968
  4. Ramon Magsaysay award in 1974
  5. Padma Vibhushan by GOI in 1975
  6. Sangeetha Kalasikhamani in 1975 by The Indian Fine Arts Society, Chennai
  7. Kalidas Samman in 1988
  8. Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in 1990
  9. Bharat Ratna by GOI in 1998

Lesser Known Facts

  1. The first ever musician to be given the highest civilian honor, the “Bharat Ratna” in 1998.
  2. Her mother was a Devdasi, thus M.S. upbringing was under a much disciplined environment. Her mother was a frequent stage performer herself which could have inspired her or interested her towards music at such an early age.
  3. She recorded her first song ‘Maragatha Vadivum’ at the age of 10 with her mother playing Veena.
  4. Her first stage performance was at Madurai Sethupati high school.
  5. M. S. Subbulakshmi started getting recognition within the music community after her soulful performance at the Madras Music Academy (MMA) at the age of seventeen.
  6. Her husband T. Sadasivam was very active during the days of India’s freedom struggle. He is said to have played a major role in M. S. career and the choices she made.

Written by Neha Singh

I am a fun loving person. Love adventure and exploring new places. Travelling adds a freshness in my life and adds on to new experiences in my life which is cherished always..Travelling also helps me taste all kinds of cuisines and foods around the world which also explains why I am such a foodie!!

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