One of India’s most legendary singers, S.P Balasubrahmanyam died last year, due to Covid-19, leaving behind many grieving hearts and many fond memories. 

A Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan recipient, Balasubrahmanyam won 6 National Film Awards, 25 Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards, and the NTR National Award for his distinguished contribution to cinema. 

Balasubrahmanyam, who sung over 40,000 songs in 16 different languages, was a gifted artist best known for his collaboration with music composers Ilaiyaraaja and A.R. Rahman, among others. 

Here’s a look at some of his most iconic and memorable Hindi-language songs: 

1. Hum Bane Tum Bane: Ek Duuje Ke Liye

SPB’s first Hindi-language film immediately launched him as a national star. People who had not heard him sing before were struck by the youthful exuberance and impeccable melody in his voice – a fact that the title track perfectly exemplifies. Also the first of his many classical duets with Lata Mangeshkar.

2. Saathiya Yeh Tune Kya Kia: Love

One of Bollywood’s most iconic love songs ever created, this track became an instant hit with a whole generation of young lovers, thanks to Balasubrahmanyam’s dulcet tones. 

3. Roja Jaaneman: Roja

The film that marked the beginning of SPB and Rahman’s association, Roja also showcased the range of S. P. Balasubrahmanyam singing. This song is reminiscent of the time where proficient singers didn’t need autotunes or overpowering music because their singing was powerful in its own right. 

4. Yeh Haseen Waadiyaan: Roja

Yet another beautiful track from the film, Yeh Haseen Waadiyan is the kind of song you get lost into. Balasubrahmanyam, who often sung this song at live concerts as well, created a kind of magic that just can’t be recreated by another singer. 

5. Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate: Maine Pyar Kiya

It feels impossible to pick just one song from the film that established, once and for all, that no other singer could sing about love with the kind of stability and freshness that SPB did. No wonder the film started with SPB’s singing Aate Jaate – what better way to introduce a romantic story?

6. Mere Rang Mein Rangne Waali: Maine Pyar Kiya

The power of SPB’s voice was such, that even a lifelong cynic could be transported into a world of love and romance. Like Mere Rang Mein showed, Balasubrahmanyam sang from the heart, and thus, reached millions. 

7. Pehla Pehla Pyar: Hum Aapke Hain Koun

One of the many delightful tracks that made us fall in love with his voice, by the time Hum Aapke Hain Koun came along, the Salman-SPB union was the ‘hit jodi‘. Because almost every time Salman wooed a woman on-screen, it was S. P. Balasubrahmanyam who crooned the words off-screen. 

8. Hum Aapke Hain Koun: Hum Aapke Hain Koun

Yet another duet by Lata Mangeshkar and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam that reached millions of hearts, Hum Aapke Hain Koun became a beautiful, rhythmic, and undeniably charming expression of love. 

9. O Maria: Saagar

While S. P. Balasubrahmanyam was famous for singing classic romantic ballads, he was also equally brilliant with dance numbers and vibrant tracks like O Maria. There is an undeniable joie de vivre in his voice, that perfectly compliments Asha Bhosle’s lilting tone.

10. Tumse Milne Ki Tamanna Hai: Saajan

Though the songs Dekha Hai Pehli Baar and Bahut Pyaar Karte Hain, also sung by Balasubrahmanyam, are more famous from the film, Tumse Milne Ki is my personal favourite. Because it is difficult to not smile when SPB sings of the rush of meeting your love.

11. Kabhi Tu Chhalia Lagta Hai: Patthar Ke Phool

In the same year as Saajan came Patthar Ke Phool. Saajan’s title track earned SPB more fame, whereas this song became known for its lyrics, which included the name of older films. But this song also deserves to be known for the energy SPB infused into it, with his trademark style.

12. Do Mastane Chale: Andaz Apna Apna

Arguably the dialogues of the film may be more famous than even the songs, but if you haven’t sung Do Mastane when traveling with your BFF, then are you even a Bollywood fan? The singers of today could learn a thing or two about making fun tracks without remixing old songs from this song.

13. Yeh Raat Aur Yeh Duri: Andaz Apna Apna

Who could imagine a song could be a love ballad and comical at the same time? And nobody but SPB could do complete justice to this lovely track from the film.

14. Chennai Express

After a break of 15 years, SPB returned to Bollywood to sing the title track of this film and made even millennials fall in love with his flawless singing. 

Truly a legend!