Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi was an Indian vocalist in the Hindustani classical tradition. He was born in Gadag, Karnataka to a Kannada Madhwa family. He is known for
Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi was an Indian vocalist in the Hindustani classical tradition. He was born in Gadag, Karnataka to a Kannada Madhwa family. He is known for the khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music (bhajans and abhangs).
In 1998, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship the highest honour conferred by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. Subsequently received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, in 2008.
His first music teacher was Channappa Kurtakoti, who had trained with the veteran singer Inayat Khan. After learning ragas Bhairav and Bhimpalasi, Bhimsen Joshi left him for Pandit Shyamacharya who hailed from Badami and was a priest and classical singer. Pandit Shyamacharya taught him to sing as well as play the harmonium.
Joshi first performed live in 1941 at the age 19. His debut album, containing a few devotional songs in Marathi and Hindi, was released by HMV the next year in 1942. Later Joshi moved to Mumbai in 1943 and worked as a radio artist. His performance at a concert in 1946 to celebrate his guru Sawai Gandharva's 60th birthday won him accolades both from the audience and his guru.