L. R. Eswari

L. R. Eswari
Lourde-Mary Rajeswari Eswari (L. R. Eswari) is a veteran playback singer of the Tamil cinema, Telugu cinema, Malayalam cinema and Kannada cinema industries. She also sang in other languages like Hindi, Tulu, and English. She has won Kalaimamani, the Tamil Nadu's state award, for her contributions to the film industry.

She was born in Chennai into a Roman Catholic family to Anthony Devraj and Regina Mary Nirmala. Her ancestors were from Paramakudi near Madurai. Her full name is Lourde-Mary Rajeshwari. The 78 RPM vinyl record containing her songs in her debut film Nalla Idathu Sammanthan shows her name as D. L. Rajeswari. Since there was already another established singer with the name of M. S. Rajeswari her name was abbreviated into L.R.Eshwari. She did not have any formal training in singing. Her mother was a chorus singer in films. Eshwari used to accompany her mother to the studios and soon began singing in the chorus herself, but quickly got a break to lend her voice as lead-singer.
Her first song as a playback singer was Inba Naalidhe in the film Manohara as a chorus singer with Jikki. Music was scored by S. V. Venkatraman. Her first break came from Thiru. K.V.Mahadevan in 1958 in the movie Nalla Idaththu Sammandham, her first solo song recorded in this movie was "Ivarey Thaan Avarey". But major recognition came from the song "Vaarai En Thozhi Vaaraayo" from the movie Paasa Malar (1961) sung under the baton of Viswanathan-Ramamurthy, which composers explored and exploited her vocal abilities to the maximum extent possible over the next 20 years.

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