Born in 1940 in Cochin, Shri K. J. Yesudas was initiated into Carnatic vocal music by his father, Shri K. Augustine Joseph, and subsequently studied with Sarvashri Kunjanvelu Assan, Sivaraman Nair, K.R. Kumara- swamy Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar. Shri Yesudas has had a phenomenally successful career as a vocalist both in the field of classical music and films. The Kerala Stage and Playback Singing Award has been awarded to him 16 times since 1970. He has also won a large following among discerning listeners of classical music. He has recorded a large number of discs and audio-cassettes in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Kannada. He received an honorary doctorate from Annamalai University in 1989 and the Padma Shri in 1973. Shri K.J. Yesudas receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to music in the media.