Tamil playback singer Uma Ramanan passes away at 72

Uma Ramanan, who rose to fame after ‘Poongathave Thal Thiravai’ in the 1980s, died on May 1.
Tamil playback singer Uma Ramanan passes away at 72
X/KS Chithra
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Veteran playback singer Uma Ramanan, who primarily worked in Tamil films, passed away in her residence at Adyar of Chennai on Wednesday, May 1. She was 72 and was suffering from health-related illness. 

Uma Ramanan, whose career spanned nearly three decades, debuted in the Tamil film industry with the song ‘Mohanan Kannan Murali’ in Shri Krishna Leela (1977), but it was the song ‘Poongathave Thal Thiravai’ in Nizhalgal (1980) that helped her career take off and raised her to the top of the singers list. Though she has sung numerous songs with top composers, including MS Viswanathan and Vidyasagar, her rise to prominence is largely attributed to her association with Ilaiyaraaja, for whom she has performed over 100 songs. 

Other most memorable songs of hers include ‘Aagaya Vennilave Tharimeethu Vanthatheno’ from Arangetra Velai (1990) and ‘Bhoopalam Isaikkum Poomagal Oorvalam’ from Thooral Ninnu Pochchu (1982). 

Uma Ramanan underwent classical music training under Pazhani Vijayalakshmi during her youth. In a 2008 interview with The Hindu, she said that she learnt classical music for the sake of her parents and met AV Ramanan while she participated in several competitions in college. She said that her first break was a duet song - ‘Hai Ek Buddhu Chhora’ - she sang with Ramanan in Hindi film Playboy (1976). From then on, Uma and Ramanan performed as a duo on stage, which sparked their romance and eventual marriage. Uma is survived by her husband, and their son, Vignesh Ramanan, who is also a singer.

With more than 500 songs in multiple languages and performing over 6,000 concerts, Uma Ramanan disclosed that she did not have a proper place in the Tamil industry.

AV Ramanan, speaking in a video, confirmed that his wife passed away on May 1 at around 7.45 pm. He also added that her death was unexpected and requested the media to not cover the funeral of Uma Ramanan for privacy reasons. Ramanan said that it was her wish.

Her sudden demise has left many shocked and grieving. Playback singer KS Chithra expressed condolences by saying, “Extremely saddened to hear about the passing away of singer Uma Ramanan ma'am. May her soul rest in peace and My Condolences to the family. Om Shanti”

Playback singer Shweta Mohan expressed her condolences and said, “Deeply saddened to hear that the legendary singer Uma Ramanan ma'am is no more. Never got a chance to meet her, but every song of hers has touched my soul…” 

Kanniyakumari MP Vijay Vasanth wrote, “I express my deepest condolences on the passing away of Uma Ramanan, who gave us many beautiful songs that will remain forever in our hearts with her sweet voice.”

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