Revolutionary balladeer Vangapandu Prasada Rao dies at 77
Hailing from Pedabondapalli village of Parvathipuram block in Andhra Pradesh, Vangapandu was inspired by Adibhatla Kailasam, and took to writing folk songs that inspired thousands of youths in the region.Updated: Aug 04, 2020 20:53 IST
Popular Telugu balladeer Vangapandu Prasada Rao, who captivated the audience with his thought provoking songs and speeches, died of prolonged illness at his residence at Parvathipuram in Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram district on Monday. He was 77.
He is survived by his wife Vijayalakshmi, three sons and a daughter. “He had been ailing for quite some time. He breathed his last in the early hours,” said his daughter Vangapandu Usha, who is heading Andhra Pradesh’s Creativity and Cultural Commission.
He had worked as a technical worker at Hindustan Ship Yard, Visakhapatnam, between 1976 and 1999.
Hailing from Pedabondapalli village of Parvathipuram block, Vangapandu was inspired by Adibhatla Kailasam, and took to writing folk songs that inspired thousands of youths in the region.
Vangapandu, along with another popular revolutionary balladder of Telangana Gaddar, founded Jana Natya Mandali, the cultural wing of the CPI (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War Group (which later became CPI (Maoist) in 2004).
Like Gaddar, Vangapandu, too, was known for singing his own songs with his typical north-coastal Andhra style, that used to mesmerise the audience. He gave more than 2,000 performances not only in undivided Andhra but also various parts of India.
He, however, distanced himself from the active revolutionary movement, but continued to take up the cause of the peasants, industrial labour and the oppressed sections of the society.
Several of his songs – Jajjanakari Janaare Janaku Jana Janaare and Em Pillado Eldamostavaa – were used in Telugu films and have become runaway hits.
Vangapandu was a recipient of the prestigious Kala Ratna award in 2017 for his work in the tribal arts.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu and others condoled the demise of Vangapandu.