P Unnikrishnan

Unnikrishnan P
One of the most sought after Carnatic classical vocalists of today, P Unnikrishnan was born on 9th July 1966 to K Radhakrishnan and Dr Harini Radhakrishnan. The family home, Kesari Kuteeram, was a well known landmark of Madras city, with great grandfather Dr K.N Kesari being an eminent Ayurvedic physician and the promoter of the popular Telugu women's magazine Gruhalakshmi.

The home was known to be a beehive of artistes and singers with eminent personalities in the field often coming home to perform and also be rewarded by Dr Kesari. It is no surprise therefore that he should have taken to the arts at an early age. Cricket was however his first passion and it was his ambition to make it to the national level. But his mother had noticed his talents in music and enrolled him for classical music lessons under Sri V.L Seshadri. He graduated from the Vivekananda College, Madras University in 1987 with a B Com degree.

Concert opportunities began coming in from 1990 onwards with the first concert happening at Palakkad.  It was in 1994 that he received his first film offer and the very first songs, ‘Ennavalae' (Kaadalan) and ‘Uyirum Neeye' (Pavitra) bagged him the National Award for Best Male Playback Singer. He can be credited with the bridging of the classical music – film music divide which had been last achieved with great success by KJ Yesudas.

Unnikrishnan was initiated into Carnatic Music at age of 12 by Seshadri. He was inspired by Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. S. Ramanathan. He attended a special workshop for six months on "Veena Dhanammal Bhani" under Sangeetha Kalanidhi T.Brinda and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr.T.Vishwanathan.

  • The title "Kalaimamani" by the Govt. of TamilNadu 
  • The title "Isai Peroli" by Karthik Fine Arts, 1998
  • The title "Yuva Kala Barathi" by the Bharath Kalachar 
  • The title "Nada Bhushanam" by the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts New Delhi 
  • National Award for the Best Male Playback Singer, 1994 for his first ever film song "Ennavale" (Kadalan) & "Uyirum Neeye"(Pavithra)

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