Famed singer SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away on Friday after a lengthy hospital stay. He was 74.
Even before the announcement was made, Indian Express journalist Janardhan Koushik wrote that family members and film industry members had arrived at the hospital. Reportedly, additional police forces have also been deployed. Reports and photos from outside the hospital indicated that a massive crowd had gathered.
A week after testing positive for COVID-19 and announcing on social media that he was facing "mild symptoms", Balasubrahmanyam was on life support at Chennai's MGM Healthcare hospital and his condition was critical. This was in August.
Things however eventually took a turn for the better, with the singer's son SP Charan announcing via social media that his father's health was stable, and then improving. Later Instagram video updates indicated that the celebrated singer was on the road to recovery, with the last update, posted on Tuesday indicating that Balasubrahmanyam was "eager to leave the hospital".
Since then however, there has been no social media update. "SP Balasubrahmanyam's condition in the last 24 hours has deteriorated further warranting maximal life support and he is extremely critical. He remains on ECMO and other life support measures. He was admitted to the hospital on August 5," MGM Healthcare had said on Thursday. This was followed by a deluge of eminent personalities and ordinary citizens offering their prayers and hoping for a speedy recovery.
Unfortunately, this was not to be.
"SP Balasubrahmanyam passes away. A true legend. May he sing in peace," tweeted film director Raja Sen.
"Rest in peace SP Balasubrahmanyam sir. You will be deeply missed sir. What a legend! Your legacy will stand stall in our hearts forever," tweeted actor Prasanna.