"For nearly a year he had been undergoing treatment for Parkinson's disease. He breathed his last this evening at his residence at around 9 p.m.," a family source told IANS.
Born to N.S. Varma and Ammu Nethyaramma at Tharur in Palakkad on June 6, 1936, Bhanu's passion for music was passed on to him by his uncle K.P Appukutta Menon, a scholar in music.
At the age of seven, he learnt music from legends such as Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer, M.D. Ramanathan, Palghat Rama Bhagavathar and Flute Krishna Iyer.
He started his career as an announcer in All India Radio in 1955. Three years later, music director K. Raghavan offered him the opportunity to sing in Malayalam film "Nair Pidicha Pulival".
Udayabhanu had since then crooned over 50 songs. Some of his evergreen hits include "Ponvalayillenkilum", "Thamara Thumbi Vava"and "Vellinakshathrame".
He had also composed music for films such as "Samasya" and "Mayilpeeli". In 2009, Udayabhanu was conferred with the Padmashri award.
His last song was "Kaatu Paranjadum" from the 2010 film "Thanthonni".
He is survived by his son Rajeev.