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  • Born

    14 March 1918

  • Born In

    Tamil Nadu, India

  • Died

    21 June 2001 (aged 83)

Krishnankoil Venkatachalam Mahadevan (aka Mama) was a South Indian music composer.

K.V.Mahadevan was born in Tamil Iyer family in 1918 in Krishnancoil, Kanyakumari district. A contemporary of M. S. Viswanathan, T. K. Ramamoorthy, KVM has scored music for over 600 films, spanning four decades, after starting his career in the 1950s with Avan Amaran. Health reasons hastened the end of his career in the mid- nineties. His last film was Swathi Kiranam in 1992. During this period he scored music for about 250 Tamil and Telugu films.

The special features of his compositions were: giving primary importance to lyrics and composing music that is perfectly suited to lyrics; always keeping a base in the Carnatic music systems; and giving independence to singers and other assistants to freely contribute ideas for improving his compositions.
Some of the famous Tamil movies for which he composed include Thiruvarutselvar, Adimai Penn, Thiruvilayadal, Vaanampadi, Thillaana Moganambal, Kandhan Karunai, Muthalali.

His one of the best compositions is "Mannavan vanthaanadi" song from the film Thiruvarutselvar. That one song is enough to know about K V Mahadevan's musical talent.

His most famous compositions in Telugu were in the movies directed by K. Viswanath like Sankarabharanam, Saptapadi, Sirivennela, Chelleli Kapuram, Jeevana Jyothi, Swathi Kiranam, .
He produced many hit songs collaborating with legendary directors K. Viswanath including the multiple national award winning Sankaraabharanam. He is clearly the director with the most number of musical chart busters in more than 60 years of Telugu music and most of his movies went on to create box-office records as he was a part of the best technical teams of highly successful directors as Adurthi Subba Rao, K. Viswanath, , V. Madhusoodana Rao, V. B. Rajendra Prasad, K. S. Prakash Rao, Bapu, Balachander, K. Bapaiah to name a few. He also composed music for actress Hema Malini's TV serial Noopur along with composers K. Pukazhenti and Ravindra Jain.

He is known as one of the very few to bring the purity of classical music into the masses. His songs gave primary importance to lyrics, an important attribute that made the songs stand out time. His lyricists included all-time greats such as Acharya Atreya, Arudra, CNR, Sirivennela, Veturi, Kosaraju, Dasaradhi, Srirangam Srinivasa Rao, Devulapalli and Mysore Vasudevachar. He regularly directed maestro singers Ghantasala, P. Suseela and Leela.

He was very reserved with the usage of singers thus giving numerous opportunities in grooming greats such as S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Yesudas, Janaki, Chithra & Vani Jayaram, some winning the national award for best playback singing multiple times with his songs.

National Film Award for Best Music Direction(1967) - Kandan Karunai
National Film Award for Best Music Direction (1980) - Sankarabharanam

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