Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi (popularly known as M.S. or M.S.S./M.S. Maami) (1916 -2004) was a renowned Carnatic vocalist. She was the first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour. Subbalakshmi was born in the temple town of Madurai on 16th September 1916, to veena player Shanmukhavadivu. Her grandmother Akkammal was a violinist. Her father, a lawyer by profession, was a music lover. Her first guru Madurai Srinivasa Iyengar died early, but she kept practising on her own, and having a musician mother helped a lot.