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K. B. Sundarambal

k. b. sundarambal twitter account, k. b. sundarambal birthplace
1908-10-1010 October 1908
Kodumudi, Coimbatore District, Madras Presidency, British India

now Erode District, Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu, India Died 15 October 19801980-10-15 aged 72 Spouses S G Kittappa m 1927–33 Awards
  • Padmashri
  • National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer

Kodumudi Balambal Sundarambal 1908–1980 was an Indian theatre and film actress and singer from Erode district, Tamil Nadu She performed in Tamil cinema and was referred to as the "Queen of the Indian stage" A political activist during the Indian independence movement, KB Sundarambal was the first film personality to enter a state legislature in India


  • 1 Early years
  • 2 Acting career
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 Filmography
  • 5 Political activism
  • 6 Honours
  • 7 Further reading
  • 8 Footnotes and references
  • 9 External links

Early years

KB Sundarambal was born on 11 October 1908 in the town of Kodumudi also spelled "Kodumadi", on the banks of Kaveri river, in Erode district in Tamil Nadu As a child, she made money by singing on trains and receiving tips

Acting career

That was Sundarambal's training in music According to some sources, it was while singing thus on a train for alms that the 19-year-old Sundarambal attracted the attention of F G Natesa Iyer, an amateur stage actor, producer and talent-scout, later municipal chairman of tiruchchirapalli district, in chennai According to other sources, it was a police official named Krishnaswamy Iyer, an acquaintance of Balambal, who discovered the talent in Sundarambal and introduced the 19-year-old girl to P S Velu Nair, one of the reigning dramatists of that era

In either case, Sundarambal is believed to have made her debut in 1927, on the Tamil stage, as a member of a travelling theatre troupe This was the turning point in her life The talented young girl honed her voice while performing small roles on stage and keeping audiences entertained between acts Soon enough, she was playing leading roles on stage Her early stage plays like "Valli Thirumanam," "Pavalakodi" and "Harishchandra" proved to be great hits In particular, "Valli Thirumanam", where she co-starred with SG Kittappa, was a phenomenal success

Personal life

While working together in the theatre, Sundarambal met S G Kittappa They were married in 1927 The couple, together became popular S G Kittappa died in 1933 Sundarambal left the stage after this happened,to pursue a career as a concert artiste KB Sundarambal died in September 1980


Sundarambal as Avvaiyar in the Tamil film Thiruvilayadal

Sundarambal was in films as well, she accepted few film offers Her most popular films were Manimekhalai, Auvaiyar, Thiruvilayadal, Karaikal Ammaiyar and Kandan Karunai

Year Film Song Music Production Company
1935 Nandanar 1935 1 Piththam Theliya Marundhondrikkirathu
2 Vazhi Maraithirukkudhe
Asandas Classical Talkies
1940 Manimekalai 1 Maasindri Kulamaadhar
2 Siraichalai Enna Seiyum
3 Paavi Yen Pirandhen
T K Productions
1953 Auvaiyar 1 Katrathu Kaiman Alavu
2 Muthmizh Deivame Va
3 Ayyane Anbarkku Meiyyane
4 Ulaginile Thamizhnadu Uyarga
5 Kooriya Vaalar
6 Porumai Enum Nagai Anindhu
7 Aram Seiyya Virumbuvelane
8 Velane Senthamizh ViththagaMayilerum Vadivelane
9 Koodi Nadandhukolla Vendum
10 Kanni Thamizh Naattinile Vennilaave
11 Gannanaathane Varuga
12 Aalai Palaavaakkalamo
13 Periyathu Ketkin
14 Nellukku Iraitha Nir
15 Munnai Nal Parikku
16 Vennila Vea
Mayavaram Venu,
M D Parthasarathy &
Parur Anantharaman
Gemini Studios
1964 Poompuhar 1 Vazhkai Enum Odam
2 Thappithu Vanthanappa
3 Thunbamellam
4 Andru Kollum Arasan
R Sudharsanam Mekala Pictures
1965 Thiruvilaiyadal 1 Gnanapazhathai Pizhindhu
2 Pazhaniyappa
3 Vasi Vasi Endru
4 Ondranavan
K V Mahadevan Sri Vijayalakshmi Pictures
1966 Mahakavi Kalidas 1 Sendru Va Magane
2 Kalathil Azhiyatha
K V Mahadevan Kalpana Kalamandir
1967 Kandan Karunai 1 Ariyathu Ketkindra
2 Muruga Muruga
K V Mahadevan ALS Productions
1967 Uyir Mel Aasai 1 Kelu Papa, Kelu Papa, Kelvigal Aayiram Kelu Papa
2 Nalla Ganapathi Thunbikkai Nadhan Thunai
S M Subbaiah Naidu Ayyappan Productions
1969 Thunaivan 1 Gnanamum Kalviyum
2 Kondadum Thiruchendu
3 Andru Nee
4 Koopitta Kuralukku
5 Kondadum Thiruchendur
K V Mahadevan Dandayudhapani Films
1972 Shakthi Leelai 1 Amma…Sakthiyenum Deivam Konda Padai Veedu
2 Enggeyum Sakthi Undu
T K Ramamoorthy Raman Pictures
1972 Gnayiru Thinggal Unreleased 1 Seeru Thamizh Paalundu Vetrikku Vel Kondu M S Viswanathan
1973 Karaikkal Ammaiyar 1 Odungal Odi Ullam UrugiThagathagavena Aada Vaa
2 Iraivaa Un Pugazh Paduven
3 Piravatha Varam Vendum
4 Padugingen Unnai Padugingren
5 Vaduvatha Or Pozhuthum
Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan Eveeyaar Films
1973 Thirumalai Deivam 1 Ezhumalai Irukka Namakkenna Manakkavalai
2 Nalellam Unthan Thirunale
Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan Shanthi Combines

Political activism

Sundarambal and her husband SG Kittappa had been much influenced by the Indian independence movement and they became ardent supporters of the Indian National Congress They had harnessed their popularity and talents to further that cause Sundarambal continued to champion the movement, recording several gramophone discs extolling the struggle and sacrifices it entailed She also made it a point to always wear khadi She often actively campaigned in support of Congress party candidates at various elections After India gained independence, KB Sundarambal entered the Legislative Council of Madras State in 1951 as a Congress nominee, thus becoming the first film artist to enter an Indian legislature


In 1964, the Tamil Isai Sangam conferred upon her the title of "Tamil Isai Perarignar Tamil Music Ace" In 1970, the government of India awarded her the Padmashri for her contributions to the arts Also, She was awarded twice the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer by the Government of India She also won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Female Playback for Thunaivan in 1969 She was also the first person in the Indian film industry to command a salary of one lakh rupees She became the first lady member of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly

Further reading

  • Kodumudi Kokilam KB Sundarambal varalaru Biography in Tamil by P Chozhanadan Published by Rishabham Pathippagam, KK Nagar, Chennai 600 078

Footnotes and references

  1. ^ Full name as per national awards website of India Archived 31 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Photo description in Hindu Images Archived 29 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ From the UMICH website Archived 23 April 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c "Biography on Sangeetamcom" Archived from the original on 17 February 2005 Retrieved 2006-06-09 CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown link
  5. ^ Biography on the Sony website
  6. ^ from The Hindu, 4 February 2001 – "During the district board election at Tirunelveli in 1934, where the strength of the Justice Party was unquestionable and unshakeable, Kodhainayaki, with 12 other women among whom was the popular K B Sundarambal, took upon herself to storm the Justice Party bastion with her mesmerising oration"

External links

  • K B Sundarambal on IMDb
  • Review of a biography on KBSundarambal
  • Indian government website on Padmashri
  • Two awards in 1969
  • From the Hindu newspaper
  • Political activism at the Wayback Machine archived 7 January 2004

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