“It’s a proud moment for all of us and a great honour for my dad. At 77, he’s still working hard and this award is for his continuous effort,” a jubilant Vijay Yesudas told IANS after India’s second highest civilian award was announced for his father.
The seven times National Award-winning singer has thousands of songs to his credit across various languages.
Vijay considers himself a “blessed son”.
“As a father, he has always made us look up to him. Even today, he wakes up at 5 a.m. and practices. It’s this effort that is paying off now. I still admire him and watch him in awe,” he said.
Asked if any special celebration is being planned in the family to ring in the joyous moment, Vijay said it’s not something that his father believes in.
“Awards are nothing in comparison to what he has achieved. He definitely acknowledges them and uses them as an incentive to keep moving forward. He also doesn’t celebrate because it keeps him humble and grounded. I have also followed the same philosophy,” he said.
Yesudas’s musical journey began in 1961 with the Malayalam song Jaathi bhedam matha dwesham.
His first film song was “Attention penne attention” from the 1962 Malayalam movie Kaalpadukai.
In the 1970s, he forayed into Bollywood with 1976 Amol Palekar starrer “Chhoti Si Baat”. Yesudas was introduced to Hindi cinema by late composer Ravindra Jain.
Apart from Malayalam and Hindi, he has also sung in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada among other languages.
He had received the Padma Shri honour in 1975 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002.