Sunitha Upadrashta is an Indian playback singer, anchor, host, dubbing artist, and actress who works in the South Indian Film Industry. She is popularly known as the ‘Queen of Melody’ of South Indian Cinema.
Sunitha Upadrashta was born on Wednesday, 10 May 1978 (age 42 years; as of 2020) in the Guntur City of Andhra Pradesh. Her zodiac sign is Gemini. At the age of 6, she got trained in Carnatic Vocal from Pemaraju Surya Rao and Light Music from Kalaga Krishna Rao. At a very young age, she started performing in concerts and programmes including the ones organised by All India Radio (AIR).
At the age of 13, she performed with her mentor Pemaraju Surya Rao at the Tyagaraja Aradhana Utsavalu. As a child, she received several awards and accolades in competitions for her performances. She also got a scholarship by the Central Government to pursue her Musical Training.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Husband
She belongs to a Telugu Brahmin music-loving family.
Parents & Siblings
Upadrasta Narasimha Rao and Sumathi (Maiden Name-Malladi).
Relationships, Husband & Children
At the age of 19, she got married to Kiran Kumar Goparaju, a media professional, but they later got divorced. She has a boy named Aakash Goparaju and a girl named Shreya Goparaju.
In 2018, there were speculations about her marriage to an IT professional. On 7 December 2020 (Monday), Sunitha got engaged to Ram Veerapaneni (Entrepreneur) in Hyderabad.
On Sunday, 10 January 2021, she got married to Ram Veerapaneni in a traditional Hindu ritual at Sri Seetha Rama Chandra Swamy Temple, Ammapally, near Shamshabad in Hyderabad.
As a Singer
At the age of 17, Savitha started her career as a playback singer with the song “Ee Velalo Neevu” from the Telugu film Gulabi (1995).
She made her Kannada debut with the song “Kesari Haravu” from the film Bhoomi Geetha (1997). She made her Tamil debut with the song “Unakkoruthi” from the film Punniyavathi (1997).
She has sung more than 3000 songs for the Tamil, Telugu, Kannada Film Industries. She has also worked for some of the private albums such as Raghuram, Sai Sudha, Sri Venkateswara Thatwanidhi, Sri Vallabha Bhakti Geethalu, Sai Darshanam, Sri Chidvilasam, Amma Durgamma, Pahimaam, Sri Rama Charanam, Govinda Ganamrutham, Saye Dhaivam, and Bathuku Paata. She has also featured in some private albums of her Guru, two of them are Meera paravail and Aanota – Manasu Palike vela.
Sunitha has rendered her voice for many devotional projects across South India; the first one being in 2016 by the name Annamayya Paataku Pattabhishekam.
She has also lent her voice and hosted several projects such as Vengamaamba Keerthanalu, Naada Neerajanam, Tirumala Brahmotsavam, Srivaari Sevalu, Thyaagaraaja Utsavaalu, and Prashanthi Nilayam.
As a Voice-Over Artist/Dubbing Artist
She entered the world of dubbing unwillingly but became the major choice for all lead heroines after the release of the 1998 movie “Choodalani Undi” starring Megastar Chiranjeevi and Soundarya, in which she gave her voice to Soundarya.
Till now, she has given her voice to more than 110 actresses in more than 750 films. She also holds the record for giving her voice to 60 movies in a single year. Gautamiputra Satakarni marked as Sunitha’s 750th movie as a dubbing artist in which she gave her voice to Shriya Saran.
She made her first TV appearance in 1995 with the show “Paadave Koyila,” a single episode live musical show which aired on DD National Channel.
She has also sung title songs for many Telugu TV serials and “Antharangaalu” being the first one of them.
As an Anchor
She made her debut as an anchor with the 1996 Telugu Musical Competition show “Navaragam,” which aired on Gemini TV. She has hosted many shows such as Yours lovingly, Saptaswaraalu, Antakshari, Saregamapa Lil Champs, Jhummandi Naadam, and Annamayya Paataku Pattabhishekam.
As an Actress
She made her debut as an actress with the 2016 short Telugu language film “Raagam” in the role of ‘Sree Chaitu.’
She also made a special appearance in the 2018 short Telugu language film “Thadasthu. ”
Awards & Honours
- National Award for Folk songs at Delhi, Ministry of Cultural Affairs
- National Award from All India Radio under light music category in 1994
- Best Female Playback Singer for TV film Antha Rangaalu in 1999
- Best Female Dubbing Artist for the movie Jayam in 2002
- Best Female Playback Singer for the Movie Athade Oka Sainyam in 2003
- Best Female Dubbing Artist for the movie Anand (voice of the Kamalinee Mukherjee) in 2004
- Best Female Dubbing Artist for the movie Pothe Poni in 2005
- Best Female Playback Singer for the movie Godavari Sunitha in 2006
- Best Female Playback Singer for TV film Anthahpuram in 2010
- TV film called Mamathala Kovela in 2011
- Best Female Dubbing Artist for the movie Sri Rama Rajyam (voice of the Nayantara) in 2012
- Best Female Playback Singer – Kannada for the song “O Priyathama” from the movie Cheluveye Ninne Nodalu in 2010
- Best Female Playback Singer – Telugu for the song “Em Sandehamledu” from the movie Oohalu Gusagusalade in 2014
- Best Playback Singer award from European Telugu Association, London (2003)
- Kalavedika Art Award as an All-rounder for excellent performance as a Singer, Anchor and Movie dubbing artist in 2003
- Sangam P Susheela Youth Award honoured with Gold Medal in 2004
- Sangam P Susheela Youth Award for the year 2004 honoured with Gold Medal.
- Kala Sudha Award in 2006
- Ghantasala Melody Queen Award in 2011
- Lata Mangeshkar Best Singer Award for 2011 was presented by the State Government
- T. Subbaram Reddy Lalitha Sangeeta Puraskar in 2013
- Sangeet Samman 2013 (Kannada film)
- New Jersey state recognition award by the Senate and General assembly of the state of New Jersey passing a resolution to salute her excellence and contributions to the world of music and Indian Cinema in 2019
- Vishishta Seva Puraskar by I Stand For The Nation NGO in 2019
Note: She has received many awards and nominations apart from the awards and honours mentioned above.
In 2019, in an interview, Swamy Swaroopanandendra Saraswati of Sharad Peetham made a statement that many celebrities come and visit him whenever he stays in Filmnagar’s Temple in Hyderabad. He listed out the names of many celebrities including that of Sunitha. This angered the singer and she slammed Swamy through her social media account for using her name in national television and including her name in his disciples’ list.
- Actress: Sophia Loren
- Singers: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, P. Susheela
- Beverage: Coffee
- Scripture: Bhagavad Geeta
- Sunitha Upadrashta likes travelling and doing photography.
- She has given about 500 programmes so far on AIR, Doordarshan, ETV, Gemini TV, and MAA TV.
- She has also given programmes abroad, travelling around in more than 19 countries. Some of them include Kuwait, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, London, the US, the Philippines, Kenya, and Japan.
- In the year 2009, she has done her own shows titled ‘Musical Moments With Sunitha’ in the USA.
- On the 50th year of India’s Independence, she sang Vande Mataram along with S.P.Balasubrahmanyam at the Congress Plenary Meet and also hosted 50 years celebrations in the Assembly.
- She participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for Amaravathi, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh in 2015.
- She is a dog lover and owns a dog named Snoopy.
- Apart from possessing talent in singing, acting, anchoring, photography, she can also play the Veena.