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Tamil Nadu police begin probe into singer Vani Jayaram’s passing

Chennai, Feb 4 (IANS) Days after her fans celebrated the President conferring the Padma Bhushan on noted singer Vani Jayaram, she passed away at her home in Chennai.

She was 78 years old.

Tamil Nadu Police have registered a case under suspicious death.

Vani Jayaram, after the passing away of her husband Jayaram in 2018, was living alone in her residence at Haddows road in Chennai.

A maidservant Malarkodi, who used to do daily chores at her residence, arrived at the home at 11 a.m. and even after the repeated ringing of the bell, there was no response from inside.

She immediately alerted Vani Jayaram’s sister Uma and both of them entered the house with duplicate keys and found her dead on the floor of her bedroom. She had bruise marks on her forehead. Police were informed and her body was taken to Kilpauk hospital, Chennai for postmortem.

However, a forensic team of Tamil Nadu police is conducting an inspection at the residence of Vani Jayaram.

When contacted, Shekhar Deshmukh, DCP, Triplicane told IANS that the police are conducting an investigation and further details will be known only after the postmortem report comes.

One of the immortal voices of the South Indian film industry, Vani Jayaram rendered songs in 19 languages. She was living at her Haddows Road home in Chennai. Her husband Jayaram passed away in 2018. Since then, she had been living alone.

Vani Jayaram won three National Awards and sang more than 10,000 songs in 19 languages, including in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Gujarati, Odia, Marathi, Haryanvi, Assamese, Tulu and Bengali. She had won state government awards from Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh.

Born at Kalaivani in Vellore to a traditional Tamil Iyengar family of classical musicians, Jayaram was initiated into the world of music by Ranga Ramanuja Iyengar and later, Kadalur Srinivasa Iyengar, T.R. Balasubramanian, and R.S. Mani.

She was employed at the State Bank of India and she quit the job after she started training for Hindustani music under Ustad Abdul Rahman Khan of the Patiala Gharana. Jayaram was regarded as one of the very few South Indian singers who had an in-depth knowledge in Hindustani classical music and was at ease in belting out Hindi, Gujarati and Haryanvi songs.

Her first music album was a duet with Kumar Gandharva composed by Vasant Desai.

A highly accomplished musician, Vani Jayaram was at ease with old music directors as well as the new generation. She was a favourite for both Ilaiyaraaja and A.R. Rahman.

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