Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, often credited as K. S. Chithra or simply Chithra, is an Indian playback singer from Kerala. Chithra also sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music. She has sung more than 25,000 Songs in a number of Indian languages such as Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tulu, Urdu, Sanskrit and Badaga as well as Foreign languages such as Malay, Latin, Arabic, Sinhalese and English.
Chithra is a recipient of six National Film Awards(Most by any Female Singer in India), eight Filmfare Awards South and 35 different state film awards. She has won all the four south Indian state film awards. She was honored with India's civilian honor Padma Shri in 2005. She is the first Indian woman who was honored by House Of Commons, British Parliament, United Kingdom. She is the only singer from India who was honored by the Government of China at the Qinghai International Music and Water Festival. She is the only South Indian female singer who has presented her maiden concert at the world's prestigious concert hall Royal Albert Hall in London. Her song "Kannalane/Kehna Hi Kya" from the film Bombay (1995) was included in The Guardian's "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" list.
Born in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, into a family of musicians, Chithra's father, the late Krishnan Nair, was also her first guru (teacher). Her elder sister K. S. Beena and her younger brother K. Mahesh are also playback singers. Chithra received her training in Carnatic music from Dr. K. Omanakutty, passed B.A. in music with first class and third rank from the University of Kerala, and completed a master's degree in music. She was selected to the National Talent Search Scholarship from the Central Government from 1978 to 1984.