Kolkata: Girija Devi, one of the foremost classical vocalists in India, died today after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was 88.
A vocalist from the Banaras and Seniya gharanas, she was considered a living legend in thumri. Girija Devi was conferred the Padma Vibhushan, India’s third highest civilian award in 2016. She also won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2010 and the Padma Bhushan in 1989.
Girija Devi was admitted to BM Birla Hospital earlier today. She was reportedly suffering from several old age ailments.
She first performed for the Allahabad station of All India Radio in 1949 but had to face stiff opposition as women from reputed families were discouraged to perform in public.
Her first public concert was in Bihar in 1951.
She was a disciple of Sarju Prasad Misra and learned tappa and khayal from him.