Singer SP Balasubrahmanyam passes away due to COVID-19 complications
Veteran playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, fondly known as SPB, has passed away. He was 74 years old. Yesterday, Chennai's MGM Healthcare facility had said in a medical bulletin that the singer was in an "extremely critical" condition and put on maximal life support. SPB had been in the hospital since August 5 after testing positive for coronavirus. May his soul rest in peace.
SPB was last month admitted to the hospital with mild symptoms of COVID-19. On August 13, he was moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) as his oxygen saturation level had dipped. He had been connected to life support since then. Later, when his condition seemed to be improving, SPB underwent plasma therapy. He remained on the ventilator and ECMO support.
SPB's son, actor SP Charan had been sharing regular updates about his father's health on social media. In a recent post, he had said the legendary singer was showing "steady progress," and was "eager to leave the hospital as early as possible." Notably, SPB had tested negative for COVID-19 on September 8, but remained on ventilator because of the condition of his lungs.
SPB's celebrated body of work comprised more than 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages. A winner of six National Awards, the singer had collaborated with the likes of Ilaiyaraaja and Oscar Award-winning composer AR Rahman. Besides being a singer, SPB was also an actor, producer and a voice actor. He had also received the Padma Shri as well as the Padma Bhushan.
Born on June 4, 1946, SPB did not have formal training in any kind of music. He started his playback singing career in 1966 and sang in Telugu and Kannada before venturing into the Tamil industry. He also acted in various supporting roles and guest appearances in nearly 70 movies in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages.
Other celebrities who contracted COVID-19 include filmmaker SS Rajamouli, megastar Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek, actor Kiran Kumar, singer Kanika Kapoor, and producer Karim Morani. However, they all have recovered since then. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc all around the globe. Across India, it has infected over 58 lakh and claimed the lives of more than 92,000.