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Nithayasree Mahadevan

2:26 PM Posted by Vijayasri

Dr. Nithyasree Mahadevan, also previously referred to as S. Nithyashri (born August 25, 1973) is an eminent Carnatic musician and playback singer for film songs in many Indian languages. Her paternal grandmother is the legendary Carnatic vocalist D. K. Pattammal, while her maternal grandfather is the legendary mridangam maestro, Palghat Mani Iyer. Her granduncle is the legendary Carnatic vocalist, D. K. Jayaraman.

Born to multiple music lineages, Nithyasree Mahadevan has an inimitable simple beauty and demeanour that not many can truly propagate. Nithyasree has captivated thousands of music lovers through her scintillating voice and powerful vidwath and Gnanam.
Steeped in tradition, Nithya, as she is fondly called by friends, well-wishers and family alike, is rarely seen without the traditional South Indian attire, the saree, usually dressed in brightly coloured Kancheepuram silk (this is a famous town in South India which is well known for it's silk looms, where the gold thread used is actually pure silver, coated in 22 carat gold, the saree itself being worth a lot). Performing from a very young age, she has honed her Carnatic music (South Indian Classical) skills to give performances that are second to none, with her incredible vocal range, reaching many octaves, her voice buoyant and her inherent ability to coerce notes into melting within each other, to capture the essence of the scale (Raga).


Nithyasri is the maternal Granddaughter of Mridangam (South Indian drum with two sides, made of wood and the fingers are used to bring out the bass and treble rhythm tones and dexterity of playing) Maestro, Palghat Mani Iyer and even more famously, the paternal Granddaughter of the legendary Carnatic vocal exponent, stalwart of music, Damal Krishnaswamy Pattammal (DK Pattamal), who was one of those who broke barriers about Brahmin (high caste) women singing in public and also the lady who sang a patriotic song at midnight on India's independence day – Nithya has followed this family tradition and keeps her family's heritage intact to the core. To top all this off, her granduncle, DK Jeyaraman is another distinguished musician whose music can even be downloaded at popular website, Having been endowed with all many awards and accolades, like being an A Grade artiste of All India Radio, awards like Kalaimamani and Isai Peroli – given only to the best of the best; one would think that Nithya would have some head-weight, but in actual fact, she is one of the most humble people one could meet; I consider myself lucky to have met such a gifted personality in person in a kutchery for my sister's wedding.

Nithyasree, was born to Lalitha Sivakumar and Injikudi Sivakumar. Her mother Lalitha Sivakumar, who was Palghat Mani Iyer's daughter and learnt Carnatic music - Indian Classical Music from her mother-in-law, D. K. Pattammal, was Nithyashree's first guru (teacher).

Nithyashree would, like her mother, learn from her grandmother, D. K. Pattammal, as well as accompany her in concert. Nithyashree's father would constantly show his support, as he being an accomplished mridangist, would be Nithyashree's accompanist whenever he can. Nithyashree's commanding, high-pitched voice is well suited to carnatic music, devotional, patriotic and popular songs. Her amazing voice, coupled with her style and vast repertoire, impresses audiences all over the world.
Nithyashree and her husband, Mahadevan, have 2 daughters, Tejashree and Tanujasree.

Being surrounded by musicians and music lovers alike, this eminent, singer has captured the hearts of many listeners not only in her specialist area of Carnatic classical music but also in Kollywood (the equivalent of Hollywood in the heart of South India – Tamil Nadu to be precise, where the cinema city is known as Kodambakkam, hence, Kollywood). This is where the music director A.R.Rahman being encouraged by the fact that her Grandmother DKP was one of the few women who had sung in Tamil films back in the day, called Nithya to Panchathan Recording Inn, in Chennai, for a voice test by ARR. Little did she know that the song of 1998 would be the output of this visit. The song, 'Kannodu Kanbadhellam', from the film Jeans, featuring Aiswariya Rai, produced by Ashok Amitraj of US was not only a huge hit, but also brought back the trend of using Classical music (it was in the raga Abheri, like the old classic, Singaravelane) and it's inherent scales in film music – Nithya was suddenly in demand for playback singing for films and drama serials. Some of the popular tamil hits sung by Nithyasree Mahadevan are
'Minsara Poove' from the movie 'Padayappa'
'kannodu kanbadellam' from the movie 'Jeans'
'Sowkiyama kanne Sowkiyamma' from the movie 'Sangamam'.
She has almost sung a total of 150 songs for the tamil cinema and the megaserials.

Here is a video where Nithyasree interviews her grandmother D.K.Pattamal.

90 yrs old musical legend , D.K.Pattamal singing our national anthem song.


  1. Blue Pencil India said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. Blue Pencil India said...

    Dr. Nithyasree Mahadevan is a legend in carnatic vocal music. Her music cds are available at the clasical music portal Kalakendra.

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