2009 may not have begun on a good note for Akshay Kumar, what with the debacle of CC2C, but Republic Day (Jan 26) brought in some good news for the superstar. Akshay Kumar was awarded the Padma Shri by the Govt. of India for his contribution to cinema.
Apart from Akshay, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was also the proud recipient of the Padma Shri, regarded as one of the top civilian honors in the country.
Akshay Kumar may not have won many awards in his illustrious career but this honor coming from the Govt. of India surely means a lot to the 'Kinng' of Bollywood. As for Aishwarya, she has made the entire Bachchan parivar proud with this achievement. After Shri. Harivanshrai Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, Aishwarya becomes the 4th family member of the Bachchan parivar to receive the Padma Shri.
Besides Akshay and Ash, veteran actress and dancing queen of yesteryears Helen was also bestowed with the Padma Shri for her contribution to art and cinema.
From the field of music, playback singers Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan, Ghazal singer Penaaz Masani and music composer Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar also made it to the list of Padma Shri awardees this year.