Dr. Nithyasree Mahadevan, also previously referred to as S. Nithyashri, (born August 25, 1973) is an eminent Carnatic musician and playback singer for film songs in many Indian languages. Her paternal grandmother was the legendary Carnatic vocalist D. K. Pattammal, while her maternal grandfather is the legendary mridangam maestro, Palghat Mani Iyer. Her granduncle is the legendary Carnatic vocalist, D. K. Jayaraman.
Nithyashree has performed in all major sabhas in India and has presented her concerts in many destinations around the world. She has received multiple awards and honours, and has released more than 100 commercial albums.
Nithyasree was born to Lalitha Sivakumar and I. Sivakumar. Her paternal grandmother is the legendary Carnatic vocalist D. K. Pattammal, while her maternal grandfather is the legendary mridangam maestro, Palghat Mani Iyer. Her granduncle is the legendary Carnatic vocalist, D. K. Jayaraman.
Her mother, Lalitha Sivakumar, was her first guru (teacher). Like her mother, Nithyashree was also the disciple of D. K. Pattammal, and would accompany her in concert. Nithyashree’s father, an accomplished mridangist and disciple of Palghat Mani Iyer, would constantly show his support and accompany Nithyashree when she performed.
Nithyashree has performed in all major sabhas all over India and has presented her concerts in the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, Singapore, Malaysia and various other destinations throughout the world.
Titles and Awards
Nithyashree’s maiden performance was titled ‘best concert of the series’. She is an A.I.R. Prize Winner (1990) and has been an ‘A’ grade artist. She has been awarded the “Yuva Kala Bharathi” title by Bharath Kalachar in 1994, “Innisai Maamani” by Tamil Nadu Welfare Association, “Kalaimamani” by Hamsadhwani in 2000, “Isai Paeroli” by Kartik Fine Arts in 2001, and various other prestigious awards such as “, “Padma Sadhana” (2004), and “Naada Kovida” (2006). She has received “Best Concert Award” from The Music Academy during the music festivals a couple of times and has also performed for the “Sangeeth Natak Academy” twice in their International Music Festivals in Bombay and Hyderabad. She has also received the “Best Promising Artiste” from “Mohanam” Music Club, and made a thematic album of compositions popularising the raga Mohanam. She was awarded a doctorate degree from Sathyabama university of Jeppiar in Chennai in late 2007.
Nithyashree’s first Carnatic performance was for the Youth Association For Classical Music on 10 August 1987. The concert lasted 1 hour, and was scheduled between 6:00pm and 7:00pm. Prominent Carnatic musicians that were present at the concert, included D. K. Pattammal, D. K. Jayaraman, Vijay Siva, R. K. Sriramkumar, as well as the chief guest at that concert, K. V. Narayanaswamy.
She has given numerous concerts consisting of only patriotic songs to commemorate the 50th year of Indian Independence, a few with D. K. Pattammal before her grandmother stopped performing in public.
D. K. Jayaraman and D. K. Pattammal were known for singing and popularising the compositions of Papanasam Sivan, having learnt them directly from the composer himself. Nithyashree has continued this tradition. She has also given a lecture demonstration in Coimbatore for Manoranjitham on “Papanasam Sivan - A Legend”, and made two special thematic albums that solely contained his compositions.
Like D. K. Pattammal, Nithyashree has also popularised compositions of Gopalakrishna Bharathi. She presented a paper on the Life and Contribution of Gopalakrishna Bharathi for the Music Department of PSG College, Coimbatore. Her two thematic albums that solely consisted of his compositions have been very popular, both online and offline.
Nithyashree’s commanding, high-pitched voice is well suited to various genres of music including Carnatic music, devotional music, as well as patriotic and popular songs.
Nithyashree’s introduction to playback singing came when A.R. Rahman called her to Panchathan Recording Inn, in Chennai, for a voice test sometime in 199X. The output from her visit became a huge hit, and was used for the song Kannodu Kaanbadellam in the movie “Jeans” starring Aishwarya Rai. After this, Nithyashree was in demand for playback singing for films and drama serials.
Some of her successful filmi songs with A.R.Rahman are Minsaara Poove from “Padayappa”, Saukiyama Kanne from “Sangamam”, Kumbakonam Sandhayilefrom “New”, “Manmatha Vasam” from “Parthale Paravasam” . Apart from this she was well received in Oru Nadhi Oru Pournami , Edho Edho Edho Ondru both composed by Harris Jayraj. She also successfully branched out to Telugu and Kannada music industry. Her biggest hit in Kannada was the scintillating Ra Ra… from “Aaptamithra”. Her latest movie song is Kana Kaangiren from the G V Prakash Kumar composed “Ananda Thandavam” alongside the famous Hindustani exponent Shubha Mudgal
Nithyashree and her husband, Mahadevan, have a daughter named Tejashree.
1. ^ The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Coimbatore News : D.K. Pattammal’s biography to be released
2. ^ a b The Hindu : Entertainment Bangalore / Music : Proud pedigree is not all
3. ^ a b The Hindu : Singing soothing notes
4. ^ The Hindu : An atmosphere of tranquility
5 ^ The Hindu : Nithyashree awarded ‘Isai Peroli’
6 ^ The Hindu : ‘Padma Sadhana’ conferred on Nithyasree
7 ^ The Hindu : Title for Nithyasree
8 ^ Jaya TV’s Margazhi Mahautsavam. Jaya TV. Maximum Media. 2007-12-31.
9 ^ The Hindu : Friday Review Chennai / Music : Deluge of ragas and songs
* Musical Nirvana biography - http://www.musicalnirvana.com/carnatic/nityashri_mahadevan.html
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