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Tamil Nadu - Fine arts - Legends of Tamilnadu - K.V.Mahadevan


Krishnankoil Venkatachalam Mahadevan (aka Mama) is a South Indian music composer.

Birth name

Krishnankoil Venkatachalam Mahadevan
: கிருஷ்ணன்கோயில் வெங்கடாசலம் மகாதேவன்

Also known as



December 6, 1936(1936-12-06)


India Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.


21 July 2001 (aged 64)


Film score, Theatre


music director

Years active

1960 - 1985

K.V Mahadevan

K.V.Mahadevan was born in tamil Iyer family in Kanyakumari district. A contemporary of M.S. Viswanathan, T.K. Ramamurthy, KVM has scored music for over 600 films, spanning four decades, after starting his career in the 1950s with Avan Amaran. Health reasons hastened the end of his career in the mid- nineties. His last film is Murugane thunai in 1991. During this period he scored music for about 250 Tamil,Telugu films.

The special features of his compositions were: giving primary importance to lyrics and composing music that is perfectly suited to lyrics; always keeping a base in the Carnatic music systems; and giving independence to singers and other assistants to freely contribute ideas for improving his compositions.

Some of the famous Tamil movies for which he composed include Adimai Penn, Thiruvilayadal, Vaanampadi, Thillaana Moganambal, Kandhan Karunai, Muthalali.

His most famous compositions in Telugu were in the movies directed by K. Viswanath, Swathi Kiranam, Sankarabharanam.

He produced many hit songs collaborating with legendary directors K. Viswanath including the multiple national award winning Sankaraabharanam. He is clearly the director with the most number of musical chart busters in more than 60 years of Telugu music and most of his movies went on to create box-office records as he was a part of the best technical teams of highly successful directors as K. Viswanath, Adurti Subba Rao, V. Madhusoodana Rao, V.B. Rajendra Prasad, K.S. Prakash Rao, Bapu, Balachander, K. Bapaiah to name a few. He also composed music for actress Hema Malini's tv serial Noopur along with composers K. Pukazhenti and Ravindra Jain.

He is known as one of the very few to bring the purity of classical music into the masses. His songs gave primary importance to lyrics, an important attribute that made the songs stand out time. His lyricists included all-time greats such as Acharya Atreya, Arudra, CNR, Sirivennela, Veturi, Kosaraju, Dasaradhi, Srirangam Srinivasa Rao, Devulapalli and Mysore Vasudevachari. He regularly directed maestro singers Ghantasala, P. Suseela and Leela.

He was very reserved with the usage of singers thus giving numerous opportunities in grooming greats such as S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Yesudas, Janaki, Chitra & Vani Jayaram, some winning the national award for best playback singing multiple times with his songs.

K.V. Mahadevan breathed his last on 21-June-2001 in Chennai when he was 64. Mr. Mahadevan was ailing for a week. He complained of ``breathing problems in the morning and succumbed later.

Indian classical music is categorized under two genres. They are Hindustani and Carnatic. Broadly Hindustani developed in the northern regions of the country
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