Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, often credited as K. S. Chithra or simply Chithra, is an Indian playback singer and Carnatic musician from Kerala. Chithra also sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music. She has recorded more than 25,000 songs in various Indian languages, including Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tulu, Rajasthani, Urdu, Sanskrit, and Badaga, as well as foreign languages such as Malay, Latin, Arabic, Sinhalese, English and French. She is considered as the one among the “First ladies” of India who was honoured by the President of India.
Chithra is a recipient of six National Film Awards (most by any female singer in India), eight Filmfare Awards South and 36 different state film awards. She has won all the four south Indian state film awards. She was honored with India’s civilian honor Padma Shri in 2005. She is the first Indian woman who was honored by House of Commons, British Parliament, United Kingdom in 1997. She is the only singer from India who was honored by the Government of China at the Qinghai International Music and Water Festival in 2009. She is conferred with highest honour of Rotary International FOR THE SAKE OF HONOUR AWARD in 2001. she is the only singer from South India who has received the MTV Video Music Award – International Viewer’s Choice at Metropolitan Opera House, New York, United States in 2001. She received honorary doctorates from Sathyabama University in 2011 and from The International Tamil University, United States in 2018.
In 2018, she was honoured by Mr. Craig Coughlin, Speaker of the General Assembly, New Jersey, United States of America. In 2019, she was honoured by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah and a member of the Federal Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, UAE for successfully completing 40 years in Indian Film Industry. She is the only South Indian female singer who has presented her maiden concert at the world’s prestigious concert hall Royal Albert Hall in London in 2001. Her song “Kannalane/Kehna Hi Kya” from the film Bombay (1995) was included in The Guardian‘s “1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear Before You Die” list.
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