The prestigious Padma Awards for the year 2019 have been announced. Among three people from the Tamil film industry to receive the Padma Shri award, are actor and choreographer Prabhu Deva, singer Shankar Mahadevan and musician ‘Drums’ Sivamani.

Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award after the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan. The awards will be conferred by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, at a ceremony in his official residence, Rashtrapati Bhawan later in the year.

Beginning his career with a small role in Mouna Raagam, Prabhu Deva went on to be a successful choreographer with the 1989 film, Vetri Vizha. Then, he broke the market as an actor thanks to his role in Kaadhalan. The 1994 film not only put the actor on the map, but also made him a household name, frequently dubbed the Michael Jackson of India. Prabhu Deva has been conferred the award in the Arts-Dance category.

Mumbai born Tamillian Shankar Mahadevan is no stranger to the music industry, having sung Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi and Telugu songs for the past 20 years. Together with his partners Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa, he has composed music for close to 50 films, under the name Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Commenting on the award, Shankar is humility itself, saying “I don’t know if I am worthy of this but yeah, I definitely feel happy,” The singer also dedicated the award to his partners, “A lot of my music has been created with my two partners – Ehsaan and Loy so, I would consider them as equal recipients of this,”

Anandan Sivamani, known fondly as ‘Drums’ Sivamani is usually seen at AR Rahman concerts with his signature bandanna. He dedicates his award to India. Sivamani said, “I dedicate this award to my country. I would also like to thank my parents Lakshmi and Anandan for all that they’ve done for me. It’s been several years since I have stepped foot in the industry,” Sivamani believes that with this great honour comes great responsibility. “Receiving this award makes me even more responsible. I’d now say that I’m a proud Indian.”

The drummer began his musical career at the tender age of 11 and plays many instruments including drums, octoban, darbuka, udukai, ghatam and kanjira.

The complete list of Padma awardees can be found here. Congrats from team Varnam!