In the middle of the 20th century, three women-performers emerged in the Carnatic music field and, armed with artistic techniques that were as classically sound as aesthetically appealing, established themselves as artistes of great repute. These were M.S.Subbulakshmi, D.K.Pattammal and M.L.Vasanthakumari. MLV, as the last was popularly called, was one of the most versatile artistes in the field. Her training under the great maestro GN Balasubramaniam had equipped her with manodharma (creative capacities) that was matched by few else.
Singing with spirit and vigor, she was an expert at handling brigha (fast) phrases with great clarity. Endowed with a vibrant voice that could traverse 3 octaves with sustained grace, MLV's style was greatly admired and sought after. She could render ghana ragas as well as rare ragas with equal flair and expertise, in telling manner.
MLV was a great teacher and trained many disciples, besides teaching at the Rishi Valley School. She also sang as a playback singer in many films, and her evergreen numbers are popular even today. She performed widely in many prestigious venues in India and was the recipient of numerous awards and titles like the Sangeetha Kalanidhi, Padma Bhushan and Sangeeth Natak Academic award.