Carnatic vocalist Ranjani Hebbar Guruprasad died on Sunday in her hometown Udupi, after a prolonged battle with cancer. One of the bright young talents in Carnatic music, 31-year old Ranjani, a native of Dakshina Kannada, was the daughter of Vasanthalakshmi and Aravinda Hebbar. Initially trained by her parents and Madhoor Balasubramaniam, Ms. Ranjani at a young age became the first disciple of Carnatic vocalist S. Sowmya and also learnt from Sowmya’s father, Srinivasan. Later she came under the guidance of late Vidwan Chengalpet Ranganathan and absorbed many of the pallavis and other masterpieces of his lineage. Her natural fluency in Kannada also helped in building a good repertoire of Dasara padas.
Moving to Chennai, she overcame the language barrier by learning Tamil and also earned a Master’s degree in music from the University of Madras. She performed at many leading sabhas including prize-winning performances at the Music Academy. An A-grade artiste at the All India Radio, she was the recipient of honours such as the Kalki Award and Isai Chudar. Focussed and passionate about music, she displayed a desire to learn, even when severely unwell for the past several months.
She is survived by her husband, Guruprasad, a software engineer.