K.J. Yesudas was born in Fort Kochi, Kerala, to Augustine Joseph and Elizabeth. His father, who was a well-known Malayalam classical musician and stage actor, was his first guru. Later he joined the Music Academy in Thrippunithura and underwent training. For a brief period, he was with Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, a maestro of Classical Music. He was scoffed at for being a Christian learning Carnatic music . He has learned Hindustani Music, also. His voice lends itself well to both Indian classical, devotional, and popular songs. He has recorded songs for most Indian languages except Assamese and Kashmiri.In his heyday, he was known as the Jim Reeves of South India. Fans term his voice as nothing short of "divine".