Yesudas began his career in playback singing in Kollywood in the early 60's and by mid 70's he entered Bollywood. He has bagged sevenNational Film Awards for the best singer in the Indian film industry. In 2006, he sang 16 film songs in four South Indian languages on the same day at AVM Studio, Chennai.
Yesudas has performed in many major cities around the world. In his music concerts in the Middle East he sings Arabic songs in the Carnatic style .He frequently dons the role of a cultural ambassador of India through his numerable performances abroad by promoting Indian Music. He is the only singer who has been accorded the title Asthana Gayakan (Official singer) of Kerala State. He has been awarded the Padma Sri (1973) and Padma Bhushan (2002).
In 1965, he was invited by the Soviet Union government to perform at music concerts in various cities in the USSR and also sang a Russian song over Radio Kazakhstan. In 1970, he was nominated to head the Sangeetha Nataka Academy of Kerala and was being the youngest person ever to occupy that post. In 1971, Yesudas with his musical troupe travelled all over Kerala to raise funds for the Indian Prime Minister's National Defense Fund during the Indo-Pakistani War. He also became Senate member in the International Parliament for Safety and Peace . He has taken the words of Sree Narayana Guru, "One Religion, One Caste for all humans" to heart. On November 14, 1999, Yesudas was presented with an honorary award by UNESCO for "Outstanding Achievements in Music and Peace" at the "Music for Peace" event in Paris, a concert held to mark the dawn of the new millennium and whose attendees included artistes such as Lionel Richie, Ray Charles, Montserrat Caballé, and Zubin Mehta.
His unparalleled record of winning state awards for best singer in five regional languages of India and winning National awards for best singer seven times in three languages places him among the most versatile singers
His voice lends itself well to both Indian classical, devotional and popular songs. He has recorded more than 40,000 songs in many languages including Tamil,Hindi,Malayalam,Kannada, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Oriya, Marathi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tulu,Russian, Arabic, Latin and English through his long career.. He has been singing for most Indian languages except Assamese and Kashmiri. In his heyday, he was known as the Jim Reeves of South India. Fans term his voice as nothing short of "divine".
§ Asthana Gayakan (Official Singer) by Government of Kerala
§ Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1992.
§ Sangeetha Sagaram (
§ Sangeetha Chakravarthy (Music Emperor) in 1988 by Pallavi Narasimachary.
§ Sangeetha Raja (Music King) by Chembai in 1974.
§ Sangeetha Ratna (Music Jewel) by Lt. Governor of Pondicherry M.M. Lakhera.
§ Swathi Ratnam (Swathi Jewel).
§ Sapthagiri Sangeetha Vidwanmani in 2002.
§ Bhakti Sangita Geetha Sironmani in 2002.
§ Geetanjali Award by The ex-president of
§ Sur Singar Samsad Award in 1976.
§ Kalaimamani Award by Government of Tamil Nadu.
§ Star of
§ National Citizens Award in 1994.
§ Mar Gregorius awrd Governor RL Bhatia in 2006.
§ Kerala Ratna by Jaihind TV in 2008.
§ The Annual Latha Mangeshkar Award by Government of Madhya Pradesh in 1992.
§ Dr. Pinnamaneni and Seethadevi Foundation Award in 2000.
§ Senate member in the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, an organization incorporated in the United States.
§ An Honorary award for "Outstanding Achievements in Music and Peace" by UNESCO in 1999.
§ State Film Awards Twenty three times for the best Playback singer by the Government of Kerala.
§ State Film awards Eight times for the best Playback singer by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
§ State Film awards Five Times for the best Playback singer by the Government of Karnataka.
§ State Film awards Six times for the best Playback singer by the Government of Andra Pradesh.
§ State Film awards One time for the best Playback singer by the Government of West Bengal.
Dr. Yesudas has won the national award seven times which is a record no singer has equalled, let alone surpassed.
§ 1972, Film Name: Achanum Bappayum, Language: Malayalam, First line of the song: Manushyan mathangale
§ 1973, Film Name: Gaayathri, Language: Malayalam, First line of the song: Padmatheerthame unaru
§ 1982, Film Name: Megha Sandesam, Language: Telugu, First line of the song: Aakasa desana
§ 1987, Film Name: Unnikale Oru Kadha Parayam, Language: Malayalam, First line of the song: Unnikale oru kadha parayam
§ 1991, Film Name: Bharatham, Language: Malayalam, First line of song: Rama kadha gaana layam
§ 1993, Film Name: Sopanam, Language: Malayalam, First line of the song: Sopanam (title song)