Besides playback singing, Balasubramaniam is also the chairman of Kodandapani Audio Labs, Chennai.
His Full name is Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubramaniam
Before he became a full fledged cinema singer, Baalu was the leader of a light music troupe that comprised of
* Anirutta, who was working in Corporation and was the harmonium artist
* Ilaiyaraaja who joined the group as Guitarist and then moved over to harmonium after Anirutta became busy in his regular job
* Baskar, Ilaiyaraaja's brother who was in charge of Percussion
* Gangai Amaran another brother of Ilaiyaraaja who was the Guitarist after Ilaiyaraaja moved over too Harmonium
Balasubramaniam made his debut in film music as a singer in 1966 with Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna, a film scored by his mentor Kodandapani. He has sung more than 39,000 songs since in more than 5 different Indian languages including Telugu, Tamil,Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam. He holds the Guinness record for having sung the most number of song recordings by any single male singer (the corresponding record for a female singer is held by Lata Mangeshkar).
A gifted singer, he is highly regarded for his incredible vocal range, deep rich voice, and mastery of style, technique and control. These qualities allowed him expression across various genres of Indian music, and he has been highly sought after by many of India's film music composers. His approach to singing is methodical; he perseveres to understand the full meaning of the songs that he sings (many of which are very poetic) and the settings in which these songs are couched in order to most effectively match their requirements with his vocal delivery.
SPB is fairly well-versed in the Hindi language, but has also sung in various other less familiar languages such as Bengali, Tulu and Oriya. He feels that vocal gimmickry cannot mask incorrect accents, and while he concedes that his accent and diction in Hindi are not perfect, insists that accent is secondary to singing within the context of the proper emotions required of the lyrics and moods. He welcomes modern technology in music making as it enhances both speed and results.
He has performed both the popular and classical music of India. For example, the songs he performed in the films Sankarabharanam, Sagara Sangamam, Rudra Veena were based on Carnatic classical music, and the song Umandu Ghumandu in the movie Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi was based on Hindustani classical music.
SPB virtually monopolised playback singing for more than 15 years in the Telugu, Kannada and Tamil cinema. He hosts a popular TV show called Paadutha Theeyaga on E-Tv, Paadalani Undi on MAA-TV and Ede Thumbi Haaduvenu on 'E-Tv Kannada'.
Awards and titles
* 1999 Doctorate from Pottisreeramulu University (A.P). Presented by Governor Rangarajan.
* 2001 Padma Sri Award from the President of India K.R. Narayanan..
* 1979 Sankarabharanam - Telugu
* 1981 Ek Duje Ke Liye - Hindi
* 1983 Sagara Sangamam - Telugu
* 1988 Rudraveena - Telugu
* 1995 Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi - Kannada
* 1996 Minsaara Kanavu - Tamil
* The Kalaimamani by Tamil Nadu Government in 1981
* Andhra Pradesh Government Nandi Award for Best Male Playback Singer - received 18 times.
* Tamil Nadu Government Award - received 3 times
* Film Fans' Association (Madras) Award (oldest association in the country) - received 20 times
* September 1, 2002 Life time Achievement Award "Play back King", conferred during TVS Victor Aalaapana Music Awards function for the years 2001 & 2002, at Hyderabad
* August 5, 2002 "Dr. Bezawada Gopala Reddy Award", given during a function in Nellore
* April 7, 2002 Delhi Telugu Academy's 'Rashtriya Vikas Shiromani Award (Life time)' in 2002 on the occasion of 'Ugadi 2002', held in New Delhi
* 2002 Swaralaya-Kairali-Yesudas award
* 2001 Sangeeta Ganga award
* 1990 Film Fare Award for the film 'Maine Pyar Kiya'
* 2006 Raja-Lakshmi Award from Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation, Chennai
* 2006 Best Playback Singer from Vijay TV, Reliance Mobile Vijay awards
* Mia Tansen Award Sur Singar Sanjad (Bombay) for best classical rendition of a song from 'Tere Payal Mere Geeth' composed by Naushad Sab
* Innumerable Awards from Magazines & Associations fostering films
* Has recorded over 39,000 plus songs in a span of 40 years, which include film songs and devotional numbers recorded by various recording companies of the country. It's a world record which will be soon entering into the Guinness Book of World Records.
* Has recorded 21 songs in Kannada for the composer Upendra Kumar in Bangalore from 9.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. on February 8, 1981 which is a record.
* Has recorded 19 songs in Tamil in a day, and 16 songs in Hindi in a day, which is a notable achievement.