Swarnalatha (29 April 1973 – 12 September 2010) was an Indian playback singer. From 1987 onward, she rendered nearly 7,500 songs in many languages including Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi and Badaga.
She won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for her rendition of the song "Porale Ponnuthayi" from the film Karuththamma. The song was composed by A. R. Rahman, under whose musical direction she recorded many memorable songs. Her distinctive voice, which could effortlessly reach high octaves, quickly made her a name to reckon with in the playback music
She was born in the village Kizhakkaepparra near Athikkode near Chittur, Palakkad, Kerala, to K. C. Cherukutty and Tamil mother Kalyani. Swarnalatha had many brothers and sisters and was the last born of a big family of music lovers. Her father was a good harmonium player and singer. Her mother also had an interest in music. Swarnalatha was trained on the harmonium and keyboard. Swarnalatha's family later moved to Bhadravathi (Paper Town) in Shimoga District, where she had her education. Born in a family of musicians (father K. C. Cherukutty was a singer and harmonium player, while sister Saroja was her music guru initially), Swarnalatha took to music when she was in her teens.