‘Nightingale of Karnataka’ as she is affectionately called by the musicians and the music lovers of Karnataka-B.R.Chaya, is the most successful and leading singer, who has a rare distinction of having sung maximum Kannada songs to her credit.
B.R.Chaya (Bangalore Ramamurthy Chaya) was born on the auspicious day of ‘Sarswathi pooja’, to Sri K Ramamurthy and Mrs. Janaki, in ITI quarters, Bangalore. She received her initial music lessons from her grandparents, Sri Krishna Rao and Mrs. Bhageerathamma. Sri Krishna Rao was a harmonium master (music director) of famous GUBBI Drama Company. Chaya started learning Carnatic music at an early age under Mrs. Jaganmaatha and Mrs. vijayavaani. Though she passed seniors exam in carnatic classical music, Chaya was more fascinated towards light music in general and film songs in particular. Fortunately Chaya’s parents and teachers of ITI Vidya Mandir school, where she studied, nurtured and encouraged this ‘future singing star’ (as described by the legendary playback singer Sri P.B.Srinivas when she mesmerized him by her singing in a concert at Bangalore).
Though Chaya’s singing talent was first recognized and opportunities were offered as a playback singer by the legendary music director Sri Ilaiyaraja, (in the films Jyothi, Ringaram-1982) she considers the great music director ‘Swara Saamraat’ Sri Vijayabhaskar as her mentor and guru. Sri Vijayabhaskar offered Chaya singing assignment for the Kannada movie ‘Amrutha ghalige’ directed by the greatest director of the kannada film industry Sri Puttana Kanagal. Her first song ‘hindusthaanavu endoo mareyada…’ brought her instant fame and appreciation and awards. Chaya since then never looked back.
B.R.Chaya has so far sung in more than 300 films. She has the rare distinction of singing more than 15000 non-filmy songs which include Kannada bhaavageethe, jaanapada geethe, Kannada patriotic songs,nursery rhymes and innumerable devotional songs in various languages viz Kannada,tulu, Konkani,Tamil,Telugu,dakkhani, kodava etc. for ‘T-series, lahari,HMV,Jhankar, ashwini,sangeetha’ etc etc audio companies.
B.R.Chaya considers all the music directors (sri. Vijayabhaskar , Hindi music director sri Ravi, sri G.K Venkatesh, sri M. Ranga rao, sri Rajan Nagendra, sri Upendra Kumar, Hamsalekha, V.Manohar,sri.C. Ashwath, sri L. Vaidyanathan, sri Padmacharan, sri H.K Narayan, sri Mysore Ananthswamy etc.) under whom she worked, as her music teachers. B.R.Chaya had the privilege of singing with great singers like sri P.B.Srinivas, sri S.P.Balasubramanyam, Dr.Rajkumar, Dr.M Balamurali Krishna, Dr.K.J.Yesudas, S.Janaki, P.Susheela etc. B.R.Chaya has sung, judged, conducted many musical shows in Kannada television channels namely ‘Haadigondu haadu', 'Nanna haadu nannadu', 'Endoo mareyada haadu’ etc for Etv Kannada, ‘Guna gaana’ for Zee tv kannada, ‘Music therapy’ for Tv 9 kannada channels, to name a few.
B.R.Chaya is the youngest singer to get ‘A’ grade in AIR and Doordarshan. She has rendered her versatile voice for over 1000 TV and radio jingles. Through her ‘B.R.Chaya and party’ musical group, she has performed all over Karnataka, India and abroad.
B.R.Chaya is residing in Bangalore,India,with her husband Padmapani and daughter Megha.
B.R.Chaya is widely honored, praised and awarded. Some of the more popular ones are as follows-
- Distinction of the first recipient of ''best playback singer'' award instituted by the government of Karnataka. In fact she has bagged this prestigious award twice;
1987-88 - Karnataka State Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer - for the film 'Kaadina Benki'
1994-95 - Karnataka State Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer - for the film 'Rashmi'
- Prestigious ‘Rajyotsava award’ instituted by the government of Karnataka was bestowed upon Mrs.B.R.Chaya on November 1st 2010.
- 'Berkeley tharangini' best playback singer award -1989, for 'Kaadina benki'
- 'Chitra rasikara sangha' best playback singer award -1984, for 'Amrutha ghalige'
- Dr.Rajkumar award 2012.