Legendary musician Ilaiyaraaja who has been ruling the music industry for over 4 decades celebrates his birthday. The music maestro turns 77 today. The veteran musician in his career has composed close to 8000 songs for over 1000 films in South Indian languages like Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada along with Hindi, English, Marathi, Punjabi, and Sanskrit.
Life always hasn’t been that easy for Ilaiyaraaja who is a recipient of five Indian National Awards. The musician has been through many ups and downs in his life.
Today on the occasion of Ilaiyaraaja’s birthday we bring you five lesser-known facts about the music thespian.
1) Ilaiyaraaja, who started of his composition works with 1976 released Tamil venture Annakili, had worked as an assistant to his elder brother Pavalar Varadarajan. He also worked as guitar and organ player in the 1970s under many music composers including the likes of Salil Chowdhury, G.K Venkatesh who back then were big names in the music field.
2) A gold medalist in classical guitar from Trinity College of Music, London in 1993 he became the first Asian to compose a full symphony performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London’s Walthamstow Town Hall.
3) Amitabh Bachchan had revealed that he felt nervous when he was asked to record a song for ‘Paa’ in the Ilaiyaraaja’s presence. In doing so, Amitabh very subtly paid homage to his musical abilities.
4) Musical genius A.R Rahman has worked in Ilaiyaraaja’s musical troupe as a pianist for over 500 films and has always looked up to Ilayaraaja as one of his idols and inspiration.
5)In his younger days, Ilaiyaraaja was quite fond of wearing branded clothes and expensive accessories, but now from the past many years, the legendary musician has opted for simple white kurta and white dhoti.