New Delhi, Sep 26 (PTI) Congress president Sonia Gandhi has condoled the demise of celebrated playback singer S P Balasubrahmanyam and hailed him as the 'singing moon' who shed his special radiance over the country.
The versatile singer, actor and music composer was laid to rest at his farm house near Chennai on Saturday with a 24-gun salute by the Tamil Nadu Police.
In a letter to his son S P B Charan, Gandhi said she was deeply saddened by the death of Balasubrahmanyam, 'who so bravely fought the cruel COVID-19 virus for over six weeks before succumbing to it'.
Gandhi said Balasubrahmanyam was a shining symbol of India's rich musical and linguistic culture, singing with equal melodious and emotional power in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi.
He brought joy and solace to millions of his fans, and the artistic and cultural world is much poorer and darker for his loss, the Congress chief said.
'He was indeed the Paadum Nila -- the Singing Moon -- who shed his special radiance over our country,' Gandhi said in the letter.
Balasubrahmanyam, who held sway over millions of fans with his golden voice rendering a record 40,000 plus songs over five decades, died on Friday at a hospital in Chennai, plunging music lovers in grief.
After waging 52 days of grim battle for life following COVID-19 infection, the 74-year old singer suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest and the end came in the afternoon, a day after his condition turned extremely critical.
A six-time national award winner, Balasubrahmanyam was honoured with Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2011. PTI ASK SMN SMN