Late playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam and veteran actor Kamal Haasan have been a popular combination of the audience for long. Stating that Balasubrahmanyam is a national voice, Kamal Haasan noted how the departed icon was an artiste who celebrated talent.
SP Balasubrahmanyam, popularly known as SPB, died on Friday afternoon in a Chennai hospital where he was being treated for Covid-19 since August.
Remembering his "brother", Kamal Haasan said during a virtual press conference later in the afternoon: "When the bond gets really close, you actually forget the first meeting. He is part of my life. I had heard him first before seeing him. He had been part of my romance, first love, melancholy."
Balasubrahmanyam had recorded over 40,000 songs in 16 languages over a period of five decades.
"He was a national voice. You can't restrict him to just Tamil language. He was a huge fan of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar. I think it's the duty of the younger generation to learn from the older generation and excel. It's not a competition but it's a natural growth. SPB was able to do that," said Kamal Haasan, who had visited the hospital a day before the singer's death.
SPB was not the kind of person who would "ridicule" other artistes, shared the actor.
"He admired talent. He didn't say bad things about others. He would say 'hmm' and change the subject. He never failed to celebrate talent," said Kamal Haasan.
"He could move with time as he showed kindness to people he worked with. Humility was not a mask. His humble demeanor will always be remembered," added the actor.
SPB had sung songs like "Sorgam madhuvile", "Orey naal unainaan" and "Aadungal" for Kamal Haasan.
The singer made his Bollywood debut in 1981 as Kamal Haasan's voice in the blockbuster romantic tragedy, "Ek Duuje Ke Liye".
For Kamal Haasan, he was considered as the default voice in south Indian films.
"We were knitted together by popular choice. The audience chose us and later we became brothers," he said.
"He was a busy singer. He used to have different days for different languages. There was a time when he sang 12 songs in a day! Singing over 40,000 songs is no joke. If Covid had not hit him, he would have been still singing," added the actor-filmmaker about the singer with whom he even took train rides.