Carnatic musician M. Balamuralikrishna died at the age of 86 on November 22 in Chennai. His family said that he had not been well for the last few days. Born Murali Krishna, the musician hailed from Sankaraguptam, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, and was a child prodigy, who began singing at 6 and gave his first concert in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, at the tender age of 8. It was at this concert that his talent was recognized by distinguished Harikatha performer Musunuri Suryanarayana Murty Bhagavatar, who added ‘Bala’ to his first name. From then on, he was known as Balamuralikrishna.
He is best known for innovating the tala system along with Saptha Mukhi, Thri Mukhi, Panchamukhi and Nava Mukhi. Apart from being a talent singer, he also played the mridangam, kanjira and the viola. Balamuralikrishna also showcased his acting talent in the 1967 devotional Telugu movie Bhakta Prahalada. He also sang some of the songs on the films soundtrack.
RIP #Balamuralikrishna , the legend of our own music. Heartfelt condolences to his family.
— selvaraghavan (@selvaraghavan) November 22, 2016
Its an “End of an era” with the passing away of the legendary #Balamuralikrishna. He is matchless and his voice is ageless
— psrirangam (@psrirangam) November 22, 2016
Sad to know: Bala Murali Krishna sir passed away at the age of 86, A great loss to the Indian music heritage. #Balamuralikrishna
— Ganesh Prasad Kumble (@KumbleGp) November 22, 2016
We lost a Great singer par excellence Shri #Balamuralikrishna , RIP !
— Sai Karthik T T (@karthiksai) November 22, 2016
According to Times Of India, the musician was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. He further also won several national awards for best music director and best playback singer. Aside from his achievements within the country, he was also made Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2005 by the French Government, according to a report by the Indian Express. Y Prabhu, secretary of Krishna Gana Sabha, said, “He was a prodigy and was very innovative. He self-enjoyed his music and there is no one to match him currently.”