Vijay Yesudas was nominated in the Best Singer – Malayalam category alongside some of the best Malayali singers, including his own father KJ Yesudas, yet managed to win the prize.
He picked up the award for his song Ee Puzhayum Sandhyakalum from the movie Indian Rupee. When we caught him on the red carpet before the awards ceremony, he claimed that he didn't really care about awards, and for him, the best part about attending such events was the chance to get together with friends and colleagues from the industry.
"Awards are just a small part of the whole experience. I don't actually care about whether I win awards or not. Believe it or not, I have won very few awards in the last 12 years that I have been in the industry!" he said.
That's difficult to believe, since he has been nominated for almost eight major awards in the last six months for this same song.
"This song has been very lucky for me," says Yesudas. "The music is by Shahbaz Aman and the lyrics are by Mullanezhy, who passed away recently. This is in fact the last song he ever wrote words to. These are such beautiful lyrics and it's an honour for me that he gave me such a song before he passed away. The song itself is so beautiful. It's a wonder that such a mellow song should become such a hit for today's generation, who prefer thumping upbeat numbers these days. But there's something about this song that has touched the hearts of so many people and for me it's encouraging to get so much appreciation for it."
Yesudas lauded SIIMA for bringing together the stars from all four southern industries for "such a grand event in the grandest of cities". For Yesudas, whose wife was brought up in Dubai, the city is like a second home.
"I took her from here, and she keeps bringing me back," he said, beaming as he looked in her direction.
When asked about forthcoming projects, Yesudas whispered about a collaboration with AR Rahman and Mani Ratnam but refused to reveal more.
Other winners in the Best Singer Male category were Dhanush for Tamil and Rahul Nambiar for Telugu.
While a cheeky Dhanush dedicated his win to "all the people who can't sing", Nambiar declared that SIIMA's efforts to unite the south industries "can't get any better than a Malayali living in Delhi receiving an award for best Telugu singer".
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