K. J. Yesudas (Indian classical musician and a playback singer)
Legal name: Kattassery Joseph Yesudas
Kattassery Joseph Yesudas (born January 10, 1940) is an Indian Carnatic musician and film playback singer. Yesudas sings Indian classical, devotional and cinematic songs. He has recorded more than 50,000 songs in many languages including Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Oriya, Marathi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tulu, Malay, Russian, Arabic, Latin and English during a career spanning more than five decades. He has performed in most Indian languages except Assamese, Konkani and Kashmiri. He also composed a number of Malayalam film songs in the 1970s and 1980s. Yesudas is fondly called Gana Gandharvan (The Celestial Singer). He is also known as a Cultural Icon of Malayalam language - as well as of its ethnic group spread across the world - due largely to the fact that his songs have been profoundly ingrained into the minds of Malayalam speaking people for five decades.
Yesudas has won the National Award for the Best Male Playback Singer seven times (the most by any Indian singer), 5 Filmfare Awards and the State Award for the Best Playback Singer 43 times, which consists of awards by the state governments of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and West Bengal. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1975 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002 by the Government of India for his contributions towards the arts. In 2011 Yesudas was honoured with the CNN-IBN outstanding achievement award having recorded over 20,000 songs in a five-decade career. In 2006, he sang 16 film songs in four South Indian languages on the same day at AVM Studio, Chennai.He is famous for his devotional song Harivarasanam dedicated to Ayyappan.