Edited By: Pritha Mallick
Last Updated: February 04, 2023, 23:28 IST
Veteran playback singer Vani Jayaram had bruise marks on her forehead when she was found dead in her house in Chennai on Saturday, police said, adding a case under suspicious death has been filed.
The 77-year-old recipient of Padma Bhushan, during the recently held Republic Day, was found dead in her downtown apartment after authorities were alerted by the singer’s domestic help over no responses to bells and repeated calls.
The singer’s maid, Malarkodi, told reporters she turned up as usual for work on Saturday but she did not get any response despite repeatedly pressing the calling bell. “I rang the bell five times at Vani Jairam’s residence. But she didn’t open the door. Even my husband called her up but she didn’t receive the call,” she said.
Vani Jayaram’s husband predeceased her and she had no children, she added.
Malarkodi, who has been working for the past 10 years as a maid in the singer’s house, said Vani Jayaram did not have any health issues. “She was busy receiving guests and well-wishers who visited her to greet her for getting the Padma Bhushan award. Phone was endlessly ringing and she answered all the calls and thanked everyone who greeted her. She lived alone,” the woman said.
Police said they managed to open the door to the flat in the presence of Vani Jayaram’s relatives by 1.30 PM after they were informed, the PTI said. However, according to an IANS report, Malarkodi had alerted Vani Jayaram’s sister Uma after failing to get any response. They both entered the house with duplicate keys and found her dead on the floor of her bedroom.
Police have said there was an injury on her forehead and further investigation is on. Jayaram’s body was taken to the Kilpauk hospital in Chennai for postmortem.
A forensic team of Tamil Nadu police also conducted an inspection at the late singer’s residence, according to a IANS report. The police are conducting an investigation and further details will be known only after the postmortem report comes, Shekhar Deshmukh, DCP, Triplicane was quoted as saying.
Vani Jayaram, in her long and illustrious career of over 50 years, has sung many memorable songs including the ‘Bole re papihara’ from Hindi film Guddi (1971), ‘Yezhu Swarangalukkul’ from Tamil film Apoorva Ragangal (1975) and ‘Malligai En Mannan Mayangum’ (1974 Tamil movie Deerga Sumangali).
She has recorded over 10,000 songs in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali etc, and worked with legendary composers and musicians, including RD Burman, Madan Mohan, OP Nayyar, M S Viswanathan and Ilaiyaraaja.
Tamil Nadu CM, PM Modi Express Grief
Expressing grief over her death, Chief Minister M K Stalin said he had recently greeted her when she was chosen for the Padma Bhushan Award. “It is grievous that she has departed even before getting the Padma Bhushan Award,” Stalin said in his condolence message.
The talented Vani Jairam Ji will be remembered for her melodious voice and rich works, which covered diverse languages and reflected different emotions. Her passing away is a major loss for the creative world. Condolences to her family and admirers. Om Shanti.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 4, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes and said she would be remembered for her melodious voice and rich works. “The talented Vani Jairam Ji will be remembered for her melodious voice and rich works, which covered diverse languages and reflected different emotions. Her passing away is a major loss for the creative world. Condolences to her family and admirers. Om Shanti,” he said in a tweet.
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