This single composition gave National awards to two distinct female voices

“Inji Idupazhaga” – a romantic and lovely song belonging to cult classic “Thevar Magam” released in the year 1992. This melodious song was composed by great music maestro Illayaraja and sung by veteran singer S. Janaki. The song also had a duet version sung by S. Janaki, Kamal Haasan and Minmini, pictured on Revathy and Kamal Hassan. The solo version sung by Janaki featured Revathy and Gauthami, and this gifted singer received her fourth and final National Film Awards for best female playback singer for this song.
When the movie was remade to Hindi by Priyadarshan in 1997 starring Anil Kapoor and Tabu, this particular song was reused by Anu Malik while composing songs for the album. Yes, Payali Chunmunn Chunmunn in Kumar Sanu and Chitra’s voice, the song which gave K. S. Chitra her 5thNational Film Awards for best playback singer, and first one from Hindi language. With this award, she became the first Indian singer to win the awards in three different languages. Later Shreya Ghoshal too has achieved this recognition one decade later.
Anu Malik reused the popular song of Thevar Magan in its Hindi remake and use Chitra and Kumar Sanu’s voice to record the song. Surprisingly like the original version, its reused version also received National Film awards in the Best female playback singer category after 5 years, both in the 1990s. As far as I know it’s for the first time in the history of National Film awards when a single composition give awards to two distinct female voices in two different languages. Yes – S. Janaki for “Inji Idupazhaga” and Chitra for “Payali Chunmunn” – the tune composed by Illayaraja. The original composer was not given the credit by Anu Malik.

In fact Illayaraja was inspired by hit Bollywood song, “Yeh Dil Deewana Hai” of Ishq Par Zor Nahin for composing the song “Inji Idupazhagi”. It’s also quite co-incidence, both the awards were won by south Indian singers. Chitra sees Janaki as her idol and Janaki believes Chitra to be her unborn child. After the era of 1970s and early 1980s of south Indian music fully dominated by Janaki, the legacy was continued by Chitra for the next two decades.

Read to know other Tamil film songs re-used for Hindi remakes.

Also readTop 20 Bollywood songs sung by Chitra.

I have added a big list of articles on National Film Awards (related to Bollywood), the most prestigious honours of Indian cinema. Here is the page link. Click on the images to read. 


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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