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  • Writer's picturePremanandhan Narayanan

TMS Soundarajan: The Remarkable Journey from Drama Singer to Playback Sensation

In the vibrant world of Indian cinema during the 1960s, the name TM Soundarajan, affectionately known as TMS, became synonymous with soulful playback singing. However, his ascent to stardom was not the typical path followed by playback singers of his era.





Before making a mark as a playback singer, TMS was a talented artist lending his voice to dramas. It was during this time that a significant turning point in his career occurred, a moment that would shape the course of playback singing in Tamil cinema.


The incident took place during the filming of "Thooku Thooki," a pivotal moment for TMS. The established playback singer, C S Jayaraman, demanded a higher fee for his vocal talents. Faced with this unexpected situation, the legendary actor Shivaji Ganesan was compelled to search for a new singer. That's when someone suggested TMS.


Initially, Shivaji Ganesan was hesitant about TMS taking the reins. However, TMS, driven by his passion and belief in his abilities, made a remarkable offer. He volunteered to sing all the songs for "Thooku Thooki" without charging a fee. He expressed that if the team liked his singing, they could use it, and if not, there would be no obligation.


TMS proceeded to sing a total of 8 songs for the film, pouring his heart and soul into each note. When Shivaji Ganesan and the team heard TMS's melodious voice, they were captivated. His rendition of the songs was nothing short of extraordinary, and it left an indelible mark on everyone involved in the project.


This incident serves as a testament to the power of seizing opportunities and showcasing one's talents, even in the face of uncertainty. TMS Soundarajan's willingness to offer his skills for free, coupled with his undeniable talent, catapulted him to stardom in the playback singing industry, where he went on to become a beloved and iconic figure.



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