Malaysia Vasudevan

Malaysia Vasudevan
Born 15 June 1944(1944-06-15)
Died 20 February 2011(2011-02-20) (aged 66)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Other names Sathu Arumugam Nair
Occupation Playback singer, actor
Years active 1974–2011
Spouse Usha Vasudevan
Children Yugendran, Prashanthini, Pavithra

Vasudevan Nair (15 June 1944 – 20 February 2011),[1] known as Malaysia Vasudevan was a Tamil playback singer and actor in the Tamil film industry. He was known for singing songs for Indian actor Rajnikanth and many more.


Early life

Malaysia Vasudevan's parents were from Palakkad. In the early years of the last century Chattu Nair of Ottappalam, Ammalu of Polpulli along with their respective families migrated to Malaysia in search of livelihood. They became labourers in the rubber estates of Klang Valley. After a few years Chattu Nair and Ammalu became husband and wife in an arranged marriage. Vasudevan was born on June 15, 1944 as their eighth child. Even though he was a Malayalee, his surroundings in Malaysia were predominantly Tamil and his life was lived in Tamil, at school and at home.

Chattu Nair was musically inclined and all his children grew with a natural ability to sing and appreciate music. Malaysia Vasudevan had once said that all his family members, except his mother Ammalu, were singers. He first started learning music from his father and later on, his brother taught him. Vasudevan started singing on stage when he was eight. And yes he was interested in acting too.

When Vasudevan grew up he got attached to Tamil drama troupes in Malaysia as an actor and singer. The producers of one of his plays Ratha Paei wanted to make it as a film. Vasudevan came with the group to Chennai and acted in the film Raththa Paei. He even sang a song for the film under the baton of G. K. Venkatesh for whom Ilaiyaraaja was working as the assistant.

Professional career

Playback singer

Malaysia Vasudevan's first major song was in the film Delhi to Madras that starred Jaishankar and Srividya. It was a comedy song "Paalu Vikkira Padma Un Paalu Romba Suthhama?" for the music director V. Kumar. This chance was possible because of his friendship with the film's producer Pollachi Rathnam. After that he joined Pavalar Brothers troupe which was run by Ilaiyaraaja and his brothers.

During a stage performance, music director M. S. Viswanathan heard Vasudevan and gave him a small piece of a song in Bharatha Vilas (he sang for the Punjabi in "Indhiya Naadu En Veedu") and then a song in Thalai Prasavam. The first big break came when Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan made him sing "Kaalam Seyyum Vilaiyattu" in Kumasthavin Magal. Vasudevan was rechristened Malaysia Vasudevan by A. P. Nagarajan in this film.

Later when his good friend Ilaiyaraaja debuted in the Tamil film industry with Annakili, he was made to sing in Annakili and after "Aattukutti Muttai Ittu" from 16 Vayathinile happened, Malaysia Vasudevan never looked back. Ilaiyaraaja backed him until he became a star singer.

Malaysia Vasudevan has sung close to 8000 songs in his three decades of active career out of which most are for Ilaiyaraaja. Illayaraja made Malaysia Vasudevan sing songs of all kinds and genre. Every song Malaysia Vasudevan rendered with utmost sincerity and surprised everyone with the range he had.

Soft romantic songs like "Indha Minminikku" (Sigappu Rojakkal), "Vaan Megangalay" (Pudhiya Varpugal), "Malargale Nadha Swarangal" (Kizhake Pogum Rayil), "Malargalilay Aaraadhanai" (Karumbu Vil), "Kodai Kaala Kaatray" (Panneer Pushpangal), "Poove Ilaya Poove" (Kozhi Koovuthu), "Thangachangili Minnum Painkili" (Thooral Ninnu Pochchu), etc. must be some of the timeless favourites of Tamil film music lovers.

Even under the baton of M. S. Viswanathan, Malaysia Vasudevan had sung many illustrious songs. "Ezhudhugiral Oru Pudhukkavithai" (Saranaalayam), "Enniyirundhadhu Eadera" (Andha 7 Naatkal) and the super duper hits from Billa are just a few rare gems.

Sensuous songs like "Kanna Thorakkanum Saami", or "Nila Kaayudhu" and emotional songs like "Oru Thanga Rathathhil" (Dharma Yuddham), "Allithhandha Bhoomi Annai Allava" (Nandu), "Adi Aadu Poongodiye" (Kali), "Vaa Vaa Vasanthamey" (Puthu Kavithai), "Pattuvanna Rosavam" (Kannipparuvathile), "Ponmaana Thedi Naanum Poovodu" (Enga Oor Rasathi) all came easy to Vasudevan and succeeded in showing some other brilliant facets of the wonderful singer. His largely folksy tunes sung for Shankar Ganesh are also of inimitable class. In the nineties, he got to sing a few, but most of them sensuous hits, for A. R. Rahman, including "Then Kizhakku" (Kizhakku Cheemayile) and "Monalisa Monalisa" (Mr. Romeo).

Some of the best songs of Malaysia Vasudevan happened at the time when he was considered the voices of Sivaji Ganesan and Rajinikanth; songs like "Mudhal Mariyathai", "Pothuvaga En Manasu Thangam" (Murattukalai) and "Aasai Nooru Vagai" (Adutha Varisu) to name a few.

Malaysia Vasudevan is like T. M. Soundararajan who was content with the popularity achieved only in Tamil. He was of the notion that to sing in other languages he should have known well the nuances of other languages. At a time when not knowing the language is the first preferred criterion to sing in Tamil, Malaysia Vasudevan’s resolve may sound funny to many today.

Vasudevan worked with many music directors such as M. S. Viswanathan, Ilaiyaraaja, Shankar Ganesh, Deva, A. R. Rahman, and Vidyasagar. After T. M. Soundararajan, he was called as ghost voice for Sivaji Ganesan. His first song was for the film Delhi to Madras. He has sang over 8,000 in Tamil and over 4,000 songs in various other South Indian languages. He has also sung few songs in Hindi.

Malaysia Vasudevan has sung a lot of songs for Rajnikanth. Some of his notable songs for Rajnikanth were "Ennama Kannu Sowkiyama" (Mr. Bharath), "Singamondru Purapattadhe" (Arunachalam), "Yejaman Kaladi Manneduthu" (Yejaman), "Agaya Gangai", "Oru Thanga Rathathil" (Dharma Yuddham) and many others.

He has also lended voice for a few albums, the most notable among them is Disco Disco (1987), a collaboration with composer Dilip (A. R. Rahman) and playback singer K. S. Chithra. The album is noted for being the first album production of A. R. Rahman.[2] Though it didn't become much popular, Disco Disco Vol 2 was also released later.

Acting career

Malaysia Vasudevan has also acted in nearly 85 films. Veteran Tamil director A. P. Nagarajan christened him as "Malaysia Vasudevan". Some of his notable films include Mudhal Vasantham (with Sathyaraj), Oomai Vizhigal (with Vijayakanth), Kathanayagan (with Pandiyarajan), Oru Kaidhiyin Diary (with Kamal Hassan), Jallikattu, Thiruda Thiruda, Amaidhi Padai, Poove Unakkaga, Punnagai Desam, and Kokki. Besides acting in films, he has acted in a good number of tele serials.


Malaysia Vasudevan wrote a book of poems called "Ennam Thondriyathu Ezhutha Thoondiyathu" in the year 2010.

Last projects

Vasudevan's last song was "Happy" from the film Bale Pandiya (2010), in the music of Devan Ekambaram. His last film as an actor Ithanai Naalaai Engiruthaai is yet to be released. The last song he wrote was "Devathaiye" for the film Balam (2009), in the music of his son Yugendran Vasudevan Nair.

Personal life

Malaysia Vasudevan married Annaporani also known as Usha Vasudevan on 26 January 1976. Malaysia Vasudevan has three children Yugendran, Prashanthini and Pavithra. His son Yugendran Vasudevan Nair has acted in many films in Tamil and other languages. He is also a playback singer in Tamil. His daughter Prashanthini is a playback singer. She has sung songs like "Mundhinam" in the movie Vaaranam Aayiram and many more. Pavithra is married and resides in Malaysia. Malaysia Vasudevan has four grand children. Visashan Naarayan and Kishan Naarayan born to Yugendran, Sai Narayan born to Pavithra and Rithvik son of Prashanthini.


He has been awarded Kalaimamani by the Tamil Nadu Government. He is also a winner of Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Male Playback.


Malaysia Vasudevan died on 20 February 2011 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.[3][4][5][6]

Notable songs

  • "Shankara Shiva" (Rajarishi)
  • "Kodai Kaala Kaatre" (Panneer Pushpangal)
  • "Attukkutti muttayittu" (16 Vayathinile)
  • "Sevvnthi poomudicha" (16 Vayathinile)
  • "Monalisa Monalisa" (Mr. Romeo)
  • "Kovil mani oosai thannai" (Kizakke pogum rail)
  • Ponmaana Thedi Naanum Poovodu" (Enga oor raachathi)
  • "Suham Suhame Eyei Thoda Thoda Thane" (Naan Potta Savaal)
  • "Aaagaya gangai, Oru thanga radathil" (Dharma Yuddam)
  • "Then Kizhakku" (Kizhakku Cheemayile)
  • "Kaadu potta Kaadu" (Karuththamma)
  • "Poo Pookkum Oosai" (Minsara Kanavu)
  • "Aathu mettula oru paattu kekkuthu" (Giramaththu athiyayam)
  • "Aazhakkadali thediya muthu" (Sattam En Kaiyil)
  • "Aanatha then katru thalttuthe" (Manippoor mamiyar)
  • "Kaathal vaibohame kaanum nannalile" (Suvar illatha sithirangal)
  • "Koodalooru gundumalli, kootathula kuninji" (Kumbakkarai Thangaiya)
  • "Poove ilaya poove varamtharum" (Kozhi Koovuthu)
  • "Poongatru thirumbuma" (Mudhal Mariyathai)
  • "Vetti veru vaasham" (Mudhal Mariyathai)
  • "Kaadhal Vandhuduchu aasaiyil odi vandaen" (Kalyanaraman)
  • "Katti vechuko intha anbu manasa" (En Jeevan Paaduthu)
  • "Vaa vaa vasanthame sugam tharum" (Pudhu Kavidhai)
  • "Alli thatha boomi annai allava" (Nandu)
  • "Ananda then sinthum pooncholayil" (Mann Vasanai)
  • "Aasai Nooru Vagai, Vazhvil Nooru Suvai" (Adutha Vaarisu)
  • "Eh Rasathi" (En Uyir Thozhan)
  • "Malaiyoram Mayile" (Oruvar Vaazhum Aalayam)
  • "Enna Sugaama" (Garjanai)
  • "Ponmaana Thedi" (Enga Ooru Rasathi)
  • "Kathal vaibhogame" (Suvarilla Chithiram)
  • "Naan Appodhu" (Pagal Nilavu)
  • "Thanga Changili" (Thooral Ninnu Pochchu)
  • "Thaalaatta Naan" (Thooral Ninnu pochu)


This is a partial list of some of the films Malaysia Vasudevan has acted in.[7]

Year Title Language Notes
2007 Adavadi Tamil
1994 Amaidhi Padai Tamil
1989 Annakili Sonna Kathai Tamil
1977 Avar Enakke Sontham Tamil
1984 Ayiram Kaigal Tamil
2001 Badri Tamil
1996 Chumma Irunga Machan Chumma Irunga Machan Tamil
1989 Dharma Devan Tamil
1998 Dhinamdhorum Tamil
1993 Donga Donga Telugu
1990 Engal Sami Ayyappan Tamil
1983 Ethanai Konam Ethanai Parvai Tamil
1996 Gopala Gopala Tamil
1982 Idho Varukiren Idho Varukiren Tamil
1995 Ilakkiya Solai - Rajarajanin Tamil Pattru Tamil
1987 Ithanai Nalai Engirunthai Tamil
1987 Jalli Kattu Tamil
1994 Jallikattu Kaalai Tamil
1987 Kadamai Kanniyam Kattupaadu Tamil
1988 Kadhanayagan Tamil
2003 Kaiyodu Kai Tamil
2000 Kandukondain Kandukondain Tamil
1993 Karuppu Vellai Tamil
2006 Kokki Tamil
1985 Kolusu Tamil
1986 Mudhal Vasantham Tamil
1990 Neesirithal Deepavali Tamil
1978 Nenjil Aadum Poo Ondru Tamil
2003 Nilavil Kalangamillai Tamil
2007 Ninaithu Ninaithu Parthen Tamil
1982 Nizhal Suduvathillai Tamil
1987 Oor Kaavalan Tamil
1985 Oru Kaidhiyin Diary Tamil
1981 Pakkuvethilai Tamil
1994 Pandiyanin Rajyathil Tamil
1987 Parisam Pottachu Tamil
1987 Per Sollum Pillai Tamil
2007 Piragu Tamil
1988 Poonthotta Kaavalkaaran Tamil
1996 Poove Unakkaga Tamil
2002 Punnagai Desam Tamil
1988 Raasave Unnai Nambi Tamil
1980 Samanthi Poo Tamil
1988 Thambi Thanga Kambi Tamil
Unknown Thamizhagam Tamil
1987 Theertha Karayinile Tamil
1989 Thendral Sudum Tamil
1988 Therkathi Kallan Tamil
1993 Thiruda Thiruda Tamil
1986 Unnidathil Naan Tamil
1979 Velli Ratham Tamil


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