Krishnaveni Jikki

Born : November 03, 1935, First Movie : Mana Desam, Recent Release : Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu,

Pillavalu Gajapathi Krishnaveni  aka Jikki, was a popular film playback singer from Andhra Pradesh,South India. She sang over nearly 10,000 songs in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi and Sinhala languages.

Jikki was born in Chennai on November 3, 1935 to Gajapathi Naidu and Rajakanthamma , who had moved from Chandragiri, near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh to Chennai for their livelihood.

Her uncle Devaraju Naidu worked as music composer with celebrated Kannada theatre legend and movie pioneer Gubbi Veeranna and this gave exposure to the young good looking girl,Krishnaveni,to music and film world.

Jikki began her career as child artist in 1943 and played a minor role in a Telugu movie named Panthulamma directed by Guduvalli Ramabramham. In 1946 she once again hit the silver screen with the movie Mangalasutram, the rehash of a Hollywood movie'Excuse Me'.She was already being noted for her musical prowess and the lilting mellifluous voice although she did not go through any orthodox classical training in music. Soon a chance came her way to sing for the Tamil movie 'Gnanasoundari' in 1948 for which music was composed by the doyen of the film music then, S. V. Venkatraman. This was the turning point in her life. She sang for the heroine, when she was young.

She was married to successful playback singer and music director A. M. Rajah. A.M. Rajah-Jikki duets have been super-duper hits. The Tamil movie 'Then Nilavu' was a big hit also because of these all time great singers. Jikki has also sung many songs in her husband's direction - songs that still play in radio stations. A mother of six children, Jikki lost her husband in a train mishap. He slipped and fell in between the tracks while boarding a train. This was one incident that she could never forget. After her husband's death she stopped singing for sometime. Then she came out of retirement and sang for Ilaiyaraja. She also started a music troupe with her two daughters and performed in many countries including United States.