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Kattassery Joseph Yesudas (Malayala, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu) (born 10 January 1940) is an Indian classical musician and playback singer. Yesudas sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music. He has recorded more than 50,000 songs in many languages including Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Oriya, Marathi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tulu, Malay, Russian, Arabic, Latin and English during a career spanning five decades. He has performed in most Indian languages except Assamese, Konkani and Kashmiri. He also composed a number of Malayalam film songs in the 1970s and 1980s. Yesudas is fondly called Gana Gandharvan (The Celestial Singer). Yesudas has won the National Award for the Best Male Playback Singer seven times (the most by any Indian singer) and the State Award for the Best Playback Singer 43 times, which consists of awards by the state governments of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and West Bengal. He was awarded Padma Shri in 1975 and Padma Bhushan in 2002 by the Government of India for his contributions to the arts. In 2011 Yesudas was honoured with the CNN-IBN outstanding achievement award having recorded over 50,000 songs in a five-decade career.
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