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Meet the Telugu RJ based in US

Meet the Telugu RJ based in US
Highlights

A versatile singer who has been living in America, Sarada Akunuri came down to city to participate in the 84th birthday celebrations of Dr C Narayana Reddy, Indian poet and writer, which was held at Ravindra Bharathi on Tuesday.

A versatile singer who has been living in America, Sarada Akunuri came down to city to participate in the 84th birthday celebrations of Dr C Narayana Reddy, Indian poet and writer, which was held at Ravindra Bharathi on Tuesday.
Sarada is a Telugu singer based in the US, who promotes the language through her mellifluous voice
Sarada was born in Kakinada and brought up in Bapatla, Tirupati. She started singing at an early age of four and steadily improved her vocal ability and eventually performed in a number of programmes on All India Radio such as ‘Yuvavani’. In 1997, she worked in Hyderabad as an anchor in Doordarshan and as a news reader on City Cable. During this time she interviewed many film actors and directors such as KM Radhakrishnan, Raja, Jagapathi Babu, Koti and also prominent doctors and industrialists. She then participated in a number of cultural programmes in the city and kick started her singing career by participating in ETV's ‘Sarigamalu’ and also in Gemini TV's ‘Navaragam’.

She married Sreenivas Akunuri in 1997 and shifted to the United States in 1998. Now, a citizen of USA, she lives in Houston, Texas, where she is a popular Telugu singer, serving the cultural team of North American Telugu Association 2014 (NATA). She is also the chairperson of ‘DhimTANA’ 2015, (a unique singing and dance competition for NRIs in North America) for Telugu Association of North America (TANA) and as a board secretary for Akkineni Foundation of America.

“Even after moving to the US with my husband I continued to perform at a variety of concerts in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. I performed at the ATA conference in Chicago and NATA conference in Houston and also at a few movie events such as ‘Happy Days’ 50 days celebrations that took place in Dallas where the movie’s director Sekhar Kammula was present. I performed along with well-known Telugu playback singers including P Suseela, Ramakrishna, Jamunarani and Hema Chandra. As part of the ‘Swarnayuga Sangeethadarsakulu’ book release function in Hyderabad, I performed in the presence of living legends like Dr C Narayana Reddy, SP Balasubramaniam, S Janaki and Rao Balasaraswathi,” she said.

The singer has performed at a number of concerts in India, including Akkineni Nageswar Rao’s 90th birthday celebrations. She received ‘Vamsee Ugadhi Puraskaram’ for the year 2014, an award for commitment and contribution to the empowerment of women from singer P Suseela at the ‘Dallas Mahila Sambaralu’, and also the latest NATA-ANR Gana Ratna award at the NATA convention 2014. She was featured as one of the nine US based personalities at the Telugu Times 9th anniversary edition.

In 2012, she performed in several cities in the US with singer Ramu from India as part of SP Balasubramaniam’s 66th birthday celebrations. Currently, she entertains Houston’s Telugu speaking community as a radio jockey in a Houston based Telugu radio.

She is an active member of the Telugu Cultural Association of Greater Houston and served as cultural secretary and president for two years from 2011-2013. She helped organise ETV’s ‘Padutha Teeyaga’ live shows in Houston and Austin.

Sarada has a son, Santosh, studying in the ninth grade and a daughter, Sindhu, studying in the second grade. Both of her children are comfortable speaking in Telugu and are well-versed with epics from Hindu Mythology.

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