A composer of more than a thousand films with a whopping number of 8,000 and more songs recorded, and more hits than anyone else in a career spanning four decades, Ilaiyaraaja is nothing short of a legend
Given the strong aural culture in the Tamil context, his songs and music often convey political messages and are an integral part of social events and ceremonies. Music legend Ilaiyaraaja stands out with his phenomenal achievements bringing in structural changes within the Tamil film world.
- Ilaiyaraaja’s golden run in music was flagged off with a gold medal in classical guitar at the Trinity College of Music in London.
- Ilaiyaraaja is the first Asian to compose a full symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It is said the maestro completed it in less than one month-a record by itself.
- His first movie was in Tamil called Annakil. The movie was released in 1975 post which Ilaiyaraaja kept consolidating his position as a brilliant music composer.
- The hallmark of Ilaiyaraaja’s music is known to be the smooth blending of Western harmonies and Indian Classical and Folk Music.
- He is possibly the composer accredited to the maximum number of movies as official entries to the Academy Awards.
- According to a poll conducted by BBC in 2003 with samples from 165 countries, voted: Ilaiyaraaja’s composition for the movie Thalapathi (1991) as the fourth most loved song in the world in Top Ten list.