Chennai: Celebrated playback singer S P Balasubrahmanyam, who held sway over millions of fans with his golden voice for over five decades, died on Friday at hospital here where he was treated for COVID-19 since last month, the hospital said.
The 74-year old singer, whose condition became extremely critical on Thursday, breathed his last at 1.04 pm, a statement from MGM Healthcare, where he was admitted on August 5 after testing positive for COVID-19, said.
However, the hospital said he had tested negative for COVID-19 on September 4.
A six-time national award winner, Balasubrahmanyam, who had sung over 40,000 songs, was also honoured with Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2011. He is survived by wife, a son and a daughter.
Announcing the death of SPB, as he was popularly known, his son and filmmaker S P Charan told reporters that his father's songs would live forever in the hears of his fans.
Charan thanked all those who had prayed for the recovery of his father and the doctors, nurses and the administrative staff of the hospital for their attempts to save him.
A statement from MGM Healthcare said: "In a further setback this morning, despite maximal life support measures and the best efforts of the clinical team, his (Balasubrahmanyam's) condition deteriorated further and he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest.
"With profound grief, we regret to inform that he passed away at 13.04 hours," it said.
The hospital noted that from August 14 the singer was put on life support measures -ventilator and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support- in view of 'severe COVID-19 pneumonia.'
"He continued to be closely monitored by our multi-disciplinary team in the critical care unit. He tested negative for COVID-19 on September 4," it added.