was born on 19th May 1933 in Kerala. Born to parents deeply
interested in music in Chittur in Palakkad district, Leela
had a thorough training in classical music before starting
her film career. Her first song was for the Tamil movie Kankanam
in 1943, when she was just 13. It was an invocational song
composed by H R Padmanabha Sastry.Following that, she sang
for 2 Tamil films in Subbaraman's music direction.
a career spanning over five decades, P Leela, had sung over
1,000 songs in different languages under top music directors.
She also left a lasting impression as a devotional singer
with her recital of Narayaneeyam and Lord Guruvayurappan songs
marking brisk sales of the records.
as recited by Leela, is played every morning in Guruvayur
Temple, coinciding with the Nirmalya darshan in the wee hours.
a playback singer she has sung in 4 languages. She along with
Ghantasala became a definition for duets. Ghantasala was working
with Subbaraman as assitant at that time. Their acquaintance
started then. When Ghantasala turned music director, he gave
her the chance to become a full fledged playback singer for
Mana Desam in 1949. She continued with her voice in Keelu
Gurram, Gunasundari, Patalabhairavi and many movies.
Entha ghatu premayo, Kalavaramaye Madhilo (Patalabhairavi
1951), Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo, Choopulu Kalasina Subhavela,
Neevnea Nanu talachinadhi, Nee kosame ney (Maya Bazar 1957),
Echati Nundi Veecheno (Appu Chesi Pappu koodu 1959), Ravoyi
Chandamama (Missamma), Andhame Anandham, Veshamu Marenu (Gundamma
Kadha) are just a few of many evergreen numbers rendered by
P.Leela in Telugu.
also rendered devotional including Sri Ramuni Charitamunu
(Lavakusa), Karuninchu Meri Matha (Missamma), Deva Deenabandhava
(Pandava Vanavasam), Mangala Gowri Devi (Mudhu Bidda), O Jagadadhara
(Sati Anasuya), Yedu Kondalavada (Pelli Chesi Choodu).
1988, Leela composed music for Chinnari Papalu directed by
Savitri. Her last film in Telugu is Srimadvirat Potuluri Veerabrahmendra
Swami Charitra in 1984.
songs in Telugu and Kannada films followed the debut performance
before she made it to her mother tongue, Malayalam, with the
1948 release Nirmala.
had since then made hundreds of Malayalam scores, known for
their emotional touch and classical discipline.
was a recipient of several honours, including the first best
playback singer award of the Kerala government in 1969 and
in 1992 by the State Government of Tamil Nadu.
veteran playback singer died on 1st Nov 2005 at the age of
76 in a private hospital in Chennai. She was being treated
for pneumonia and asthma.
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