The passing of hugely popular singer Vani Jayaram has come as a shock to the Malayalam film industry as hers was a much-loved voice in the state, she having sung more than 600 songs in a career that took off in 1973.
Vani, as she was popularly known, made her Malayalam debut in 1973 by recording the solo song ‘Sourayudhathil Vidarnnoru’ composed by Salil Chowdhary for the film ‘Swapnam’.
Vani worked with leading Malayalam composers, including M.K. Arjunan, G. Devarajan, M.S. Viswanathan, R.K. Shekhar, V. Dakshinamoorthy, M.S. Baburaj, Shyam, A.T. Ummer, M.B. Sreenivasan, K. Raghavan, Jerry Amaldev, Kannur Rajan, Johnson and Raveendran.
Her best came out when she collaborated with Arjunan and Sreekumaran Thampi and she was at ease with the new generation of composers and rendered songs till a few years back.
The title song ‘Marathe Marikurumbe’ of the film ‘Puli Murugan’ was sung by her and it was listed among the 70 songs that were considered eligible for Oscar nominations in 2018 under ‘Original Song’ category.
Popular Malayalam singer Sujatha said she was shocked and wished the news was not true.
“We used to regularly interact and meet. After her husband passed away, she became a loner as the two were deeply attached to one another. Her talent just cannot be expressed in words. I will now miss someone whom I always liked.” Sujatha said.
Another Malayalam singer, Madhu Balakrishnan, said she had recently spent a lot of time with Vani and they were supposed to take part in a musical event in March. “She was a really nice human being and I will miss her a lot,” Balakrishnan said.