He was 77 and had been keeping unwell for quite some time, film industry sources said. An artiste with All India Radio for decades, Udayabhanu had sung several songs for Malayalam cinema, out of which many were all-time hits.

He, however, never made films his full time career. He made his debut with 1950s hit "Nayaru Pidicha Pulivalu", in which he sang a popular number penned by eminent director and writer P Bhaskaran. K Raghavan was the music director of Nayaru Pidicha Pulivalu".

After the debut, Udayabhanu was roped in not only by Raghavan and MS Baburaj but also by other top-notch composers like G Devarajan.

Condoling Udayabhanu's death, Malayalam film historian Balagopal said his voice was especially suited for sad songs in melodramatic films like 'Laila Majnu' of 1960s and 1970s.

"Udayabhanu's career peaked with his all-time hits in 'Ramanan', based on the pastoral elegy written by one of the greatest Malayalam poets Changapuzha Krishna Pillai. For the movie adaptation of the poetic work, Raghavan master composed music to the lines of Changanpuzha and he had no one else but Udayabhanu to sing those sings," Balagopal said.

Udayabhanu also enriched the 'light music' branch by singing and giving music to scores of songs during his long years with AIR.

 (Agencies)

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