K. S. Chithra

Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, often credited as K. S. Chithra or simply Chithra, is an Indian playback singer and carnatic musician from Kerala. Chithra also sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music. She has more than 25,000 recorded songs[3] in various Indian languages, including Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tulu, Rajasthani, Urdu, Sanskrit, and Badaga, as well as foreign languages such as Malay, Latin, Arabic, Sinhalese, English and French. She is considered as the one among the "First ladies" of India who was honoured by the President of India.[4]

K. S. Chithra
Background information
Birth nameKrishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra
Also known asNightingale of South India[1]
Piya Basanti in North India[1]
Vanambadi in Kerala[2]
Chinna Kuyil in Tamil Nadu[2]
Kannada Kogile in Karnataka[1]
Sangeeta Saraswathi in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana[1]
Born (1963-07-27) 27 July 1963
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
GenresPlayback singing, Carnatic music, Hindustani music
Years active1979–present

Chithra is a recipient of six National Film Awards (most by any female singer in India),[5] eight Filmfare Awards South[6] and 36 different state film awards. She has won all the four south Indian state film awards.[7] She was honored with India's civilian honor Padma Shri in 2005.[8] She is the first Indian woman who was honored by House of Commons, British Parliament, United Kingdom in 1997.[7] She is the only singer from India who was honored by the Government of China at the Qinghai International Music and Water Festival in 2009.[9] she is the only singer from South India who has received the MTV Video Music Award – International Viewer's Choice at Metropolitan Opera House, New York, United States in 2001.[10]

In 2018, she was honoured by Mr. Craig Coughlin, Speaker of the General Assembly, New Jersey, United States of America. In 2019, she was honoured by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah and is a member of the Federal Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, UAE for successfully completing 40 years in Indian Film Industry.[11] She is the only South Indian female singer who has presented her maiden concert at the world's prestigious concert hall Royal Albert Hall in London in 2001.[12] Her song "Kannalane/Kehna Hi Kya" from the film Bombay (1995) was included in The Guardian's "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear Before You Die" list.[13]

Early life

Born in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, into a family of musicians, Chithra's father, Krishnan Nair, was also her first guru (teacher). Her elder sister K. S. Beena and her younger brother K. Mahesh are also playback singers. Chithra received her training in Carnatic music from Dr. K. Omanakutty, passed B.A. in music with first class and third rank from the University of Kerala, and completed a master's degree in music.[7] She was selected to the National Talent Search Scholarship from the Central Government from 1978 to 1984.[14]

Playback singing

Malayalam Cinema

Chithra was introduced to Malayalam playback by M. G. Radhakrishnan in 1979 who recorded her voice for films and private albums.[7] Attahasam, Snehapoorvam Meera and Njan Ekananu were the first few films in which she recorded her voice. She also performed live concerts with K. J. Yesudas in India and abroad.[7] The song "Manjal Prasadavum" from the film Nakhakshathangal (1986) composed by Bombay Ravi got her the second National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer. For the same composer, she sang the song "Indupushpam Choodi Nilkum" for the film Vaishali (1989) and won her third National Film Award. Her first Kerala State Film Award for Best Singer was for the song "Aayiram Kannumayi" from the film Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu (1986) composed by Jerry Amaldev. Since then, she has earned wide recognition by singing popular songs under the compositions of Raveendran, Shyam, S. P. Venkitesh, Mohan Sithara, Kannur Rajan, Ilaiyaraaja, Johnson, Ouseppachan, M. K. Arjunan, A. T. Ummer, Berny Ignatius, M. B. Sreenivasan, Mohan Sithara, Vidyasagar, Ramesh Narayan, Sharreth and M. Jayachandran.[7] She is regarded as "Nightingale of Kerala (Vanambadi)" and recorded many successful songs in Malayalam. She recorded a number of songs for the composer S. P. Venkitesh and her maximum duet songs in Malayalam are with K. J. Yesudas and M. G. Sreekumar. As of 2017, she has won the Kerala State Awards for the record 16 times.

Tamil Cinema

Chithra made her debut in the Tamil film industry through the song "Poojaikketha Poovithu" from the film Neethana Antha Kuyil (1985), which was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. She was given the title Chinnakuyil after singing the song "Chinna Kuyil Paadum" from the 1985 released film Poove Poochudava.[7] Director Fazil cast her for this song after Ilaiyaraaja got impressed with her song sung in original version in Malayalam for the film Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu in 1985 directed by himself.. For the folksy classical song "Paadariyaen Padippariyaen" from the film Sindhu Bhairavi (1986), she was awarded with the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer. Since then, she has recorded thousands of Tamil film songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja, A. R. Rahman, Deva, S. A. Rajkumar, Vidyasagar, Sirpy, Yuvan Shankar Raja, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Harris Jayaraj and Santhosh Narayanan. She has sung huge number of evergreen hit songs in Tamil which are remembered till date. She is the only female singer who has sung the maximum number of songs for the Academy Award winning composer A. R. Rahman for his Tamil film songs.. Her fifth National award for best singer was for the song "Oooh La La" from the film Minsara Kanavu (1997).

Telugu Cinema

Kannada cinema

Chithra started her journey in Kannada cinema through the film Preethi released in 1986. The duet song "Nee Hacchida Ee Kumkuma" along with S. P. Balasubrahmanyam was composed by G. K. Venkatesh. In the same year, composer M. Ranga Rao offered her two songs in the film Aruna Raaga. This was followed by "Sheela O My Sheela", a duet song with K. J. Yesudas and composed by Bappi Lahiri for the Dwarakish directorial fantasy-adventure film Africadalli Sheela. Throughout the 1990s, she went on to become a notable singer in Kannada film industry with her perfection in diction and finesse. Her solos and duets with S. P. Balasubrahmanyam made her famous and she received great acclaim for portraying great deal of nativity in her singing. For the 1986 Kannada film Sathkaara, composer Satyam called upon her to sing a duet song along with K. J. Yesudas and since then, Chithra has recorded around 2000 songs in Kannada film industry. Her most frequent collaborations in Kannada has been with Hamsalekha, V. Manohar and her duet songs have been largely with S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and Rajesh Krishnan. She is fondly referred to as Gaana Kogile and Kannada Kogile in Kannada cinema industry.

Hindi cinema

Music company

In 1995 Chithra established the Audiotracs[15] Music Company in Chennai. AUDIOTRACS is the brand name of AT MUSICS a music label promoted by the well known singer CHITHRA known as the nightingale of the south in 1995. Audiotracs is one of the most respected music label of south India producing albums in the non film space such as devotional music, classical music, light songs, traditional music etc. Some of the most prominent music directors of Malayalam films like M.Jayachandran, Deepak Dev, Viswajith etc. made their debut thro this label. All of Chitra's non film albums are produced by AUDIOTRACS and released thro MANORAMA MUSIC the music division of the media group Malayala Manorama thro a licensing arrangement since 2001. Apart from music cds the audiotracs catalogue is available in the digital space like YouTube, iTunes, Google+, Nokia music store etc.

Recording studio

Krishna Digidesign is a digital recording studio promoted by K S Chithra in Chennai.[16] The studio is a dream come true project for Chithra.The studio was inaugurated on 6 April 2000 jointly by two of Chithra's mentors K J Yesudas and mastero Ilayaraja in the august presence of her guru Omanakutty and M. G. Radhakrishnan who had introduced her to the field of film music.

The first song was recorded by Sonu Nigam to the music of Bharadwaj. We have two studios studio A and B for song recordings and mastering projects. Today Krishna Digidesign is considered as one of the most popular and professional destination for musicians of all genre in Chennai. luminaries of the music fraternity of the country like M. Balamuralikrishna, K J Yesudas, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki, Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan and others had graced the studio with their presence and soulful melodies.

Leading music directors like Sharreth, M. M. Keeravani, Mani Sharma, M. Jayachandran, Deepak Dev, S. Thaman, Anu Malik, Kamalakar and revered personalities like M. S. Viswanathan, Raveendran, Johnson, Shyam, Jerry Amaldev, L. Vaidyanathan, Hamsalekha, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Karaikudi Mani and a host of others have used the services provided by the studio over the years. Most of the recordings of Chithra's music label and the sister concern of the group 'AUDIOTRACS' are also recorded mixed and mastered in Krishna Digidesign. Apart from song recordings the studio undertakes re-recording projects.



Chithra's father, Krishnan Nair, was also her first guru (teacher). She started singing at her house as well she used to sing in neighbours' occasional events. Her mother Shantha, who is a veena player (not professionally) used to teach Chithra and her elder sister Beena some devotional slokas and asked them to perform in front of God.

Work and association with music directors

Chithra has sung more than 25,000 songs in number of Indian languages. But predominately she works in South Indian film industry. Chithra has the fame of working with huge number of music directors across India. She has recorded maximum number of songs to the music directors like A. R. Rahman, Ilayaraja, M. M. Keeravani, Koti, S. V. Krishna Reddy, Hamsalekha, Raveendran, Johnson, Sharreth, S. A. Rajkumar, Manisharma, Vidyasagar, Deva, Devi Sri Prasad, Anu Malik, Mickey J Meyer in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. She has recorded huge number of duets with singers like S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. J. Yesudas, M. G. Sreekumar, Mano, Hariharan, Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu, Rajesh Krishnan, Karthik, P. Unnikrishnan, Shankar Mahadevan, Vijay Yesudas in all Indian languages. Chithra, Mano, S.P.Balasubrahmanyam have a special fame of recording all the songs in one film dominatly from 1990-1997 mostly in Telugu, Kannada and few Tamil films. She has even recorded hit female duets with P. Susheela, Vani Jairam, S. Janaki, S. P. Sailaja, Sujatha Mohan, Shreya Ghoshal, Shweta Mohan, Swarnalatha, Minmini, Sadhana Sargam, Harini, Sunidhi Chauhan, Alka Yagnik, Madhushree, Sunitha Upadrashta in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam & Hindi. The most successful duet combination was S.P.B-Chithra duo in Telugu and Kannada especially. They have sung maximum number of songs to so many music directors together. They have a fame of recording 2,500 songs to composers Raj-Koti where in total Raj-Koti composed 3,000 songs. Chithra sang some rare duets with the legendary actor and singer Dr.Rajkumar in Kannada. She has been singing since more than 3 decades and yet gets chances to work with latest film music directors like Santhosh Narayanan, S. S. Thaman, Devi Sri Prasad, Mickey J Meyer, Sai Karthik, Ghibran.

Performances in concerts (India & abroad)

Apart from playback singing, she also appeared among the panel of judges in the singing reality television shows at Kerala (Idea Star Singer and Josco Indian Voice),[17] at Tamil Nadu (Airtel Super Singer Junior),[18] where she also won the award for Best Female Judge and at Andhra Pradesh (MAA TV) Super Singer. Apart from this judgement panel she has appeared in many of the ETV (Telugu) music-shows like Swarabhishekam, Super Masti, Jhumandi Nadam etc. She is a regular singer in Ilayaraja's, A.R. Rahman's and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam's concerts. She has performed all over the world in SPB's concerts along with S. P. Sailaja, S. P. Charan. She has been a regular singer participating in all the concerts of SPB50-The World Tour, she has performed almost all around the world with S. P. B. Charan, S. P. Sailaja, Sunitha Upadrashta Karthik & Shweta Mohan.

Studio albums

Chithra recorded her first studio album with Voodoo Rapper for the album called Ragga Raaga in 1993. She recorded the albums in Hindi, Piya Basanti (2000) and Sunset Point. She associated with Ustad Sultan Khan for Piya Basanti which was certified Gold.[19] Sunset Point had eight songs written and narrated by Gulzar and sung by Chithra and Bhupinder.[20] In 2006, she released an album in dedication to M. S. Subbulakshmi named My Tribute. It is a collection of Kritis and bhajans dedicated to Subbulakshmi.[21] In 2009 she released Nightingale: A Salute to Lataji, a musical tribute to Lata Mangeshkar on her 80th birthday.[22] She also recorded many Malayalam albums for K. J. Yesudas, M. Jayachandran and Sharreth compositions. She also planned a ghazal album with Ghulam Ali and Asha Bhosle.[21]

In 2014, Chithra recorded a song at a Singapore studio for A. R. Rahman's private album Raunaq written by Kapil Sibal.[23]

Chithra has established her own recording label, Audiotracs, to promote new artists to collaborate with her as singers, lyricists and music directors.

Association with A. R. Rahman

Chithra has an extensive history of collaboration with A. R. Rahman.

11992"Rukkumani Rukkumani"RojaTamilS. P. Balasubrahmanyam
21992"Yeh Haseen Waadiyaan"HindiS. P. Balasubrahmanyam
31992"Nagamane Nagamane"TeluguS. P. Balasubrahmanyam
41992"Chella Chella Asha"Malayalam-
51992"Chella Chella Asha (bit)"Malayalam-
61993"Kulu Kulu"AsokanTamilS. P. Balasubrahmanyam
71993"Mujhko Yeh Lagta Hai"Dharam YoddhaHindiS. P. Balasubrahmanyam
81993"Thenkizhakku Cheemayile (1)"Kizhakku CheemayileTamilMalaysia Vasudevan
91993"Thenkizhakku Cheemayile (2)"TamilMalaysia Vasudevan
101993"Kaathu Kaathu Dinam Kaathu"UzhavanTamilG. V. Prakash Kumar
111993"En Aatha Pon Aatha"TamilK. J. Yesudas
121993"Kangalil Enna Eeramo"TamilS. P. Balasubrahmanyam
131993"Veerapandi Kottayile"Thiruda ThirudaTamilMano, Unni Menon
141993"Putham Pudhu Bhoomi"TamilMano
151993"Jhoom Jhoom"Chor Chor (Dubbed version)HindiS. P. Balasubrahmanyam
161993"Pyar Kabhi"HindiUdit Narayan, Mano
171993"Veera Bobbili"Donga DongaTeluguMano, Unni Menon
181993"Kotha Bangaru Lokam"TeluguMano
191994"Baboo Love Cheyyara"Super PoliceTeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
201994"Mukkambe Mukkambe"TeluguMano
211994"Maamo Love"TamilS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
221994"Muttamme Muttamme"TamilMano
231994"Chumma De Chumma De"Khel Khiladi KaHindiS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
241994"En Kadhale" (Female version)DuetTamil-
251994"Anjali Anjali Pushpanjali"TamilS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
261994"Kodite Kolatam"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
271994"Anjali Anjali"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
281994"Gutti Vankayi"Telugu-
291994"Neenecheli Neenecheli"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam, Noel James
301994"Anjali Anjali"HindiS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
311994"En Mel Vizhunda"May MadhamTamilP. Jayachandran
321994"Manasa Veena"HrudayaanjaliTelugu-
331994"Edapai Jarina"TeluguP. Unnikrishnan
341994"Azhagu Nilave"PavithraTamil-
351994"Eechambazham"TamilShahul Hameed
361994"Thenmerku Paruva Kaatru"KaruthammaTamilUnnikrishnan
371994"Sirimalle Mogga Meeda"VanithaTeluguUnnikrishnan
381994"Onnu Rendu Moonuda"Pudhiya MannargalTamilMano
391994"Nagu Momu"GangmasterTeluguMano
401994"Misa Misalade"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
411994"Hello Hello"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
421994"Enna Mayam Kannamma"Manitha ManithaTamilMano
431994"Kisu Kisu Namakkal"TamilMano
441994"Hello Hello Anburani"TamilMano
451994"Neelimabbu Kondallona"Palnati PourushamTelugu[24]K J Yesudas
461995"Kehna Hi Kya"Bombay (Dubbed version)Hindi-
481995"Uyire Uyire"TamilHariharan
501995"Urike chilake"TeluguHariharan
511995"Thoda Thoda Malardhadhenna"IndiraTamilS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
521995"Thoda Thoda Pyar - 1"PriyankaHindiS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
531995"Thoda Thoda Pyar - 2"HindiHariharan
541995"Tholi Tholi Bidiyala"IndiraTeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
551995"Yaaro Sunlo Zara"RangeelaHindiUdit Narayan
561995"Kuluvalilae"MuthuTamilUdit Narayan, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Kalyani Menon
571995"Kalagalile Prema"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Kalyani meno
581995"Phoolwani Ne Loota Mujhko"HindiUdit Narayan, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Kalyani Menon
591996"Malargaley Malargaley"Love BirdsTamilHariharan
601996"Manasuna Manasuga"TeluguHariharan
611996"Milgaye Milgaye"HindiHariharan
621997"Ooh La La La (Maana Madurai)"Minsara KanavuTamilUnni Menon, Srinivas
631997"Ek Bhagiya Mein"Sapnay (Dubbed version)HindiSrinivas, Shankar Mahadevan
641997"Machilipatnam"Merupu Kalalu (Dubbed version)TeluguSrinivas, Unni Menon
651997"Kasirepi"50-50 (Dubbed version)TeluguDeena Chandra Das
661997"Ee Praayam Needhe Ra"TeluguUnnikrishnan
671997"Sooriyanaai"Ottam (Dubbed version, album version)TamilDeena Chandra Das
681997"En Kadhal Neruppe"TamilUnnikrishnan
691997"Pogum Vazhiyellam"RatchaganTamil-
701998"Mere Yara Dildara"Kabhi Na KabhiHindiS.P.Balasubrahmanyam, Hariharan
711998"Tu Hi Tu"HindiM. G. Sreekumar
721998"Innalila Ledule"Prematho (Dubbed version)TeluguM. G. Sreekumar
731999"En Swasa Kaatre"En Swasa KaatreTamilM. G. Sreekumar
751999"Thirakkadha Kattukkulle"TamilUnnikrishnan
761999"Naa Prana Jyothi"Premante Pranam IstaTeluguM. G. Sreekumar
771999"Leela Mruduleela"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
781999"Tholi Saari"TeluguUnnikrishnan
791999"Mel Nattu Isai"JodiTamil-
801999"Verri Manasa"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
811999"Hridayanni Muripinche"Telugu-
821999"Karisal Tharasil"Taj MahalTamilM. G. Sreekumar
831999"Sarithana Sarithana"ThalamTamilMano
842000"Kannamoochi (Solo)"Kandukondain KandukondainTamil-
852000"Kannamoochi (Duet)"TamilK. J. Yesudas
862000"Engae Enathu Kavithai"TamilSrinivas
872000"Dobuchulatelara (Duet)"Priyuralu Pilichindi (Dubbed version)TeluguK. J. Yesudas
882000"Dobuchulatelara (Solo)"Telugu-
892000"Yemaye Naa Kavitha"TeluguSrinivas
902000"Injerungo Injerungo"ThenaliTamilKamal Haasan
912000"Pranama Pranama"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
922000"Yeyayo Yeyayo"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
932000"Neethan En Desiya Geetham"Parthale ParavasamTamilP. Balaram
942000"Neevena Jaatheyageetam"ParavashamTeluguP.Balaram
952001"Shingu Lingu"Alli ArjunaTamil-
962004"Mazhai Megha Vanna"DesamTamilSrinivas
972005"Varugiraai"Anbe AaruyireTamilHariharan
982006"Rang De Basanti"Rang De BasantiHindiDaler Mehndi
992007"Jaage Hain "GuruHindiA. R. Rahman
1002007"Ek Lo Ek Muft"HindiBappi Lahari
1012007"Rendu Maangai"TamilS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
1022007"Orey Kanaa"TamilA. R. Rahman
1032007"Jodi Chesei"TeluguS.P.Balasubrahmanyam
1042007"Innalle"TeluguA. R. Rahman
1052008"Idhayam Idam Maariyathe"Jodhaa AkbarTamilKarthik
1062010"Tu Mera Hai"Ada... A Way of LifeHindiSukhwinder Singh, Naresh Iyer
1072010"Nammakam Eeyara Swami"PuliTeluguHarini, Madhushree
1082014"Unborn Child"Million Dollar ArmEnglishUnnikrishnan
1092014"Sach Kahoon"RaunaqHindiA. R. Rahman
1102014"Naada Gaanangal"Pradhi NayaganMalayalamHaricharan
1112015"Malargal Kaettaen"OK KanmaniTamilA. R. Rahman
1122015"Manase Theeyaga"OK Bangaram (Dubbed version)TeluguDr. Narayan


Chithra, along with a Kerala-based satellite channel, Asianet Cable Vision (ACV), jointly launched a fundraising organisation, Sneha Nandana, to raise funds for the welfare of retired musicians who have lost their careers due to changes in the music industry. She launched this organisation on the occasion of her completion of three decades in the music playback industry. She said that the fund would provide help to the musicians with financial impediments and those suffering from health problems. A cultural event called Chithra Pournami was held on 15 February 2011 at Thiruvananthapuram to celebrate the 30th year of her career and also to launch this organisation. Attendees included K. J. Yesudas, V. Dakshinamurthy, Sreekumaran Thampi, P. Susheela, Hariharan, P. Jayachandran, Usha Uthup, M.K. Arjunan, Johnson, Shyam, M. Jayachandran, M. G. Sreekumar, Sharath, Sujatha Mohan, Unni Menon, Srinivas, G. Venugopal, Minmini, and Priyadarshan.[25]

Personal life

Chithra is married to Vijayashankar, an engineer and businessman and settled in Chennai. They had a daughter Nandana, who was born with down's syndrome. Her daughter died in a pool accident due to drowning in Dubai in 2011 when Chithra was about to perform at an A. R. Rahman's concert.[26][27]

Performances abroad

International projects

  • Recorded with the Arab singer Jawad Ali for his album Amar Ul Hob[28]
  • Recorded a song for the jazz pianist Herbie Hancock
  • Invited by the Government of China to perform in the Qinghai international water and music festival in Qinghai, China.

Awards, honours and recognition

Awards and honours Wins
International honours
Indian honours system
National Honours
State Government Honours
National Film Awards
Kerala State Film Awards
Andhra Pradesh State Film Awards
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards
Karnataka State Film Awards
Orissa State Film Awards
West Bengal State Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Asianet Film Awards
CineMAA Awards
Mathrubhumi Film Awards
Mirchi Music Awards South
Asiavision Awards
Bollywood Movie Awards
Star Screen Awards
MTV Video Music Award
MTV Immies
Cinema Express Awards
Global Indian Music Academy Awards
Film Fans Association Awards
Gamma Indian Music Awards
Gulf Malayalam Music Awards (GMMA)
Santosham Film Awards
Kerala Film Critics Association Awards
South Indian International Movie Awards
Mazhavil Mango Music Awards
List of lifetime achievement awards
Other Awards

International honours

National honours

State government honours


Lifetime achievement awards

  • 2003 – Lifetime Achievement Award from Global Malayali council London[28]
  • 2003 – Swaralaya Yesudas Award Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2005 – SIKHARAM – 15 lifetime achievement award 2005 from India Today[28]
  • 2005 – Jeevan TVP. Jayachandran Lifetime Achievement Award 2005[28]
  • 2007 – Aginhotri lifetime achievement award 2007 from Samorin of Calicut[28]
  • 2014 - Lifetime Achievement Award from Raindropss a youth-based social organization on the occasion of Women's Day[40]
  • 2017 – V.C.Padmanabhan memorial award for lifetime achievement from manappuram finance Ltd.
  • 2018 - Legend of the Year Award - RED FM MUSIC AWARDS 2018[41][42]
  • 2019 - Women achievers, News7 Tamil's Thangatharagai Lifetime Achievement award for being as an inspiring women icon and for her outstanding achievements [43]
  • 2019 - Most Socially Committed Life time Achievement Award - Ishal Laila Awards 2019, Dubai[44]

National Film Awards[45]

Chithra has won six National Awards for best female playback singer,[45] the highest by any female playback singer.

Filmfare Awards

Filmfare Awards South

IIFA Utsavam

  • Nominations
  • 2017: IIFA Utsavam for Best Female Singer - "Maye Maye" (Jessie)

Kerala State Film Awards

Nandi Awards (Andhra Pradesh State Film Awards)

Tamil Nadu State Film Awards

Karnataka State Film Awards

Orissa State Film Awards

  • 1993 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Band Kothari Band Choraka" (Mo Kanhu Re)

West Bengal State Film Awards

  • 1995 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Janma Janma Nebo Tomay Cheye" (Nagpanchami)

Bollywood Movie Awards

Zee Cine Awards

Global Indian Music Academy Awards (GIMA)

  • 2013 – Best Carnatic Classical Album - Vocal - Album "Vande Vasudevam" an album based on Annamacharya Krithis.[50]

MTV Video Music Award

Star Screen Awards

MTV Immies Awards

  • 2003 - Best Play Back Singer - "Koi Mil Gaya" (Koi... Mil Gaya)[28]

Producers Guild Film Awards

South Indian International Movie Awards

  • 2017 - Best play Back Singer Tamil - "Konji Pesida Venaam" (Sethupathi)[51]
  • 2017 - Best Play Back Singer Malayalam - "Kaadaniyum Kalchilambe" (Pulimurugan)
  • 2018 - Best Play Back Singer Malayalam - "Nadaavathil" (Kamboji)
  • 2014 - Nominated— Best Play Back Singer Telugu - "Gopikamma" (Mukunda)

Mirchi Music Awards South

  • 2009 – Radio Mirchi Listeners Choice Award – "Kunnathe Konnakyum" (Pazhassiraja)
  • 2010 – Best Female Playback (Malayalam)- "Chithra Shalabhame" (Karayilekku Oru Kadal Dooram)
  • 2012 – Best Female Playback (Telugu) - "Paluku Thelpu" (Devasthanam)
  • 2012 – Best Female Playback (Malayalam)- "Vishukili" (Ivan Megharoopan)
  • 2013 – Best Female Playback (Telugu) - "Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu" (Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu)
  • 2013 – Best Female Playback (Malayalam) – "Ilaveyil Viralukalaayi" (Artist)
  • 2013 – Song of the Year (Malayalam) – "Ilaveyil Viralukalaayi" (Artist)
  • 2015 - Best Female Playback (Tamil)- "Malargal kaetten" (O Kadhal Kanmani)
  • 2015 - Melody Queen of Indian Cinema Award

CineMAA Awards

  • 2004 - Best Female Playback Singer Telugu - "Nuvvostante Nenodantana" (Varsham)
  • 2012 - Best Duet Song of the Year Telugu - "Nee Chupule" (Endukante... Premanta!) (shared with Haricharan)
  • 2014 - Best Female Playback Singer Telugu - "Gopikamma" (Mukunda)

Santosham Film Awards

  • 2004 - Best Female Playback Singer Telugu - "Nuvvostante Nenodantana" (Varsham)
  • 2013 – Best Female Playback Singer Telugu - "Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu" (Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu)
  • 2014 - Best Female Playback Singer Telugu - "Gopikamma" (Mukunda)

Asianet Film Awards

Mathrubhumi Film Awards

  • 1999 – Best Female Playback – "Thumbayum Thulasiyum" (Megham)
  • 2000 – Best Female Playback – "Varmukile" (Mazha)
  • 2001 – Best Female Playback – "Katte Nee Veesharuthippol" (Kattu Vannu Vilichappol)
  • 2002 – Best Female Playback – "Kaarmukil Varnante" (Nandanam)
  • 2003 – Best Female Playback – "Enthinai Nin Idam Kannin" (Mizhi Randilum)
  • 2008 – Best Female Playback – "Enguninnuvanna " (Calcutta News)
  • 2011 – Best Female Playback – "Chengathir Kaiyum" (Snehaveedu)

Gulf Malayalam Music Awards (GMMA)

  • 2005 - Best Female Playback Singer[28]
  • 2006 - Best Female Playback Singer[28]
  • 2008 - Best Female Playback Singer[28]

Kerala Film Critics Association Awards

Asiavision Awards

  • 2013 – Best Female Playback - "Ilaveyil Viralukalayi" (Artist)[55][56]
  • 2015 – Best Female Playback Tamil- "Malargal Kaettaen" (OK Kanmani) .[57]
  • 2016 – Best Female Playback - "Kaadaniyum Kalchilambe..." (Pulimurugan) and "Poovithalai..." (Thoppil Joppan)[58]

SIIMA Awards:

  • 2017 – Best Playback Singer (Female) - "Kaadaniyum Kalchilambe" (Pulimurugan)[59][60]
  • 2017 – Best Playback Singer (Female)- "Konji Pesida Venaam" (Sethupathi).[59]
  • 2018 – Best Playback Singer (Female) - "Nadavathil Thurannilla" (Kambhoji)
  • 2019 - Nominated—Best Female Playback Singer (Female) - "Mrudumandahaasam" - Poomaram[49]

Gulf Andhra Music Awards (GAMA)

  • 2013 - Nominated—Best Female Playback Singer Telugu - "Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu" (Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu)
  • 2014 - Nominated—Best Female Playback Singer Telugu - "Nee Kanti Chupulloki" (Legend)

Mazhavil Mango Music Awards

  • 2017 – Best Duet Song - "Kaadaniyum Kalchilambe" (Pulimurugan) - Malayalam shared with K.J. Yesudas [61]
  • 2018 – Best Playback Singer (Female) - "Mridhu Mandahasam" (Poomaram) - Malayalam[62]

Other honours

Other awards:

  • Cinema Express Awards for 1986, 1987, 1988,1990,1991,1993,1994,1995,1998[28]
  • Film Fans Association Chennai Award – 20 times (This is the oldest film award in South India)[28]
  • Gamma Indian Music Award, Malaysia for 1988,1989,1990,1996[28]
  • 2001 – "For the sake of honour" award from Rotary International[28]
  • 2001 – LuxAsianet Award for the best playback singer Kannada[28]
  • 2004 – "Vocational excellence" award from Rotary International[28]
  • 2005 – VIRTUSO Music Awards 2005[28]
  • 2006 – LuxAsianet Award for the best playback singer Kannada[28]
  • 2007 – "Sathyan National Film Award-2007" By Sathyan Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram.
  • 2007 – Sunfeast Tamil Music Awards for Best Female Playback Singer Award – "Yaaro Yarukkul" (Chennai 600028)
  • 2008 – Devasthanam Award for GANAPRIYA Puraskaram by Peringottukara Devasthanam Temple Trust[35]
  • 2010 – Jai Hind Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer Award – "Kunnathe Konnakyum" (Pazhassiraja)
  • 2010 – Swaralaya – Eenam Award for Decade's Best Talent in Malayalam Music
  • 2010 – South Scope Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer Award – "Kunnathe Konnakyum" (Pazhassiraja)
  • 2011 – Lata Mangeshkar Award (2011)
  • 2012 – Thikkurissy Award for Best Female Playback Singer – "Naattuvazhiyorathe" (Khaddama)[66]
  • 2013 – CineMAA Awards for Best Duet Song – "Nee Choopule" with Haricharan (Endukante... Premanta!, Telugu Film )
  • 2013 – K P Brhamanandan Memorial Awards for Best Female Singer (2013)
  • 2013 – ETV Kannada Sangeet Samman (P. B. Sreenivas) Award[67]
  • 2013 – Asiavision Awards-2013 for Best Female Playback - "Ilaveyil Viralukalayi" (Artist)
  • 2013 – CERA BIG Malayalam Music Awards for Best Female Playback - "Ilaveyil Viralukalayi" (Artist) and "Ponnodu Poovay" (Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty)[68]
  • 2013 – CERA Big Malayalam Music Awards for Face of the Award - Honoured for completing three decades in the industry[68]
  • 2014 – Minimol Memorial Charitable Trust - Sathkeerthi Puraskaram[69]
  • 2014 – Mappila Kala Academy in memory of K Raghavan Master - Sangeetha Ratnam Puraskaram for her contribution to film industry[37]
  • 2014 – K.P. Radhakrishna Menon memorial Kala Ratna Award for her outstanding contributions to music.[36]
  • 2014 – STAR Vijay Vijay Television Awards 2014 Favourite Judge Female for Airtel Super Singer
  • 2014 – Prasasthi Award of Excellence 2014 by Rotary International District Vacational Service Alappuzha
  • 2015 – Kerala Women In Cinema Award 2015 by Rashtra Deepika Cinema and Kerala State Women's Development Corporation For Best Singer Category
  • 2015 – CineMAA Awards 2015 Awards for Best Female Playback Singer Award – "Gopikamma" (Mukunda)
  • 2015 – K.P.S Menon Memorial Award 2015 by Chettoor Sankaran Nair Memorial Trust, Ottapalam.[70]
  • 2015 – Harmony International Award 2015 instituted by Marthoma Research Academy, Azhikode, Kodungallur.[71]
  • 2015 – Asiavision Awards 2015 for Best Female Playback Tamil- "Malargal Kaettaen" (OK Kanmani) .[57]
  • 2016 – Dakshinamoorthy [72] Puraskaram, Vaikom
  • 2016 – K P Udayabhanu Music Award by K P Udayabhanu Foundation, Trivandrum
  • 2016 – Moyinkutty Vaidyar Memorial Award 2016 instituted by Mahakavi Moyinkutty Vaidyar Mappilakala Academy,Kondotty
  • 2016 – Pattarangu Manjeri Award 2016 for her outstanding contributions to music by Baburaj Cultural Academy, Manjeri.
  • 2016 – Swaralaya Eenam Award 2016 as the best singer for her contribution in last half century.
  • 2016 – Asiavision Awards 2016 for Best Female Playback - "Kaadaniyum Kalchilambe..." (Pulimurugan) and "Poovithalai..." (Thoppil Joppan)
  • 2019 – ANR Swarna Kankanam Award

Other achievements


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