As popularly known, The Nightingale of South, S. Janaki was born as Sishtla Sreeramamurthy on 23rd April 1938 in Repalle, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. Her childhood love for music turned out to be her talent, and she started performing at a tender age of three. Her voice is compared to
Lata Mangeshkar, and Janaki has a large fan following because of her mesmerising voice that can connect your soul to any song. She learnt music from Sree Paidiswamy, who was a nadaswaram teacher. When Janaki was 20 years of age, her uncle Dr Chandrasekhar advised her to move to Chennai and join AVM studios. Her voice got recognition as a playback singer in Tamil films. Her debut as a playback singer was a Tamil flick, Vidhiyin Vilayattu (1957). She has sung over 40,000 songs in various languages.
Most of the songs she did are in Kannada. Her voice in a Telegu film, MLA and the spiritual music of Meera is well known. She is known as the Queen of expressions for her ability to express various emotions through her voice. She has stated the most difficult song of her career is “Shiva Shiva Ennada Nalige Yeke?” in Kannada. The composer of this song was L. Vaidyanathan, who has composed it in two ragas, Todi and Abhogi. Her voice got recognition, and her career boomed. She got offers from various personalities like M.S. Viswanathan, K.V. Mahadevan, and
Sankar Ganesh. Janaki is married and has a son
Murali Krishna. She lives in Hyderabad with her husband, V. Ramprasad and her son. She has bagged many awards in her career of 50 years. Janaki has worked with well-known personalities like P. Balasubramanyam and Illaiyaraaja.
She has added 4 National and 31 different state awards to her kitty including the Kalaimani award from Tamil Nadu. She is a doctorate from The University of Mysore. She was also nominated for the Filmfare Award for the Best Female Playback Singer for the hit song Yaar Bina Chain Kaha Re. Janaki denied accepting the Padmabhushan award because of her belief that South Indian Artists were not recognised and that it was too late.