Malabar Gopalan Nair Radhakrishnan (Malayalam: എം. ജി. രാധാകൃഷ്ണന്; 29 July 1940 – 2 July 2010) was a senior music director and Carnatic vocalist from Kerala. He is highly regarded as one of the most successful light music and film music composer in Malayalam.
M. G. Radhakrishnan was born on 29 July 1940 at Haripad, in Alappuzha district, Kerala as the son of music composer and Harmonist Malabar Gopalan Nair and Harikatha exponent Kamalakshi Amma.He had his college education from the S. D. College, Alappuzha, and took Ganabhooshanam from Swati Tirunal Music Academy. Prominent singer K. J. Yesudas was one of his classmates there. His brother M. G. Sreekumar is a leading playback singer in Malayalam and Tamil cinema and his sister K. Omanakutty is a famous carnatic vocalist and academician. He died on July 2, 2010 in a private hospital due to liver disease.
M. G. Radhakrishnan was a disciple of Sree Vidyadhiraja Hridayanjali, an Indian ascetic, and composed music for the ascetic’s lyrics which was sung by his younger sister Dr. K Omanakutty,a Carnatic vocalist. In his official capacity, Radhakrishnan worked as a staff and become the senior music composer(grade 1) in Akashvani, Trivandrum. In 1962, he joined All India Radio as music composer. He used to conduct a 15-minute light music class through AIR, which made him music lovers’ favourite.
He made his debut in cinema as a playback singer through “Unniganapathiye…” from Kallichellamma (1969), which had music composed by K. Raghavan. His famous songs as a vocalist include “Sharike Sharike” from Sharashayya, “Pallanayattin Theerathu” from Ningalenne Communist Aakki etc. Some of his notable concert performances were at N S S Headquarters at Changanassery and at Karrikkakom Chamundeswary Temple at Thiruvananthapuram. He then focussed at composing light music with most of them becoming big hits. Singers Sujatha, G. Venugopal etc. were first introduced through his non-filmy songs.
His debut film as a music director was G. Aravindan’s Thampu (1978). The songs were fairly noticed, however the first notable work by M.G. was Thakara (1980). Songs from this film, Mouname Mouname and Kudayolam Bhoomi won him several accolades and fame. The other major works by him include Adwaitham, Devasuram, Manichithrathazhu, Rakkuyilin Rajasadassil and Ananthabhadram, which was his last work.
He has also composed the poems of Kamala Surayya, a famous Indian writer, through the album Surayya Padunnu Radhakrishnan introduced K. S. Chithra, a singer and a student of Omanakutty, to the film and music industry by employing her in the film Attahaasam
Radhakrishnan died from liver disease on 2 July 2010 at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.