1. He was born in a very poor family, in a village in Theni district Tamil Nadu. He worked as an agricultural laborer on daily wages. He has studied till 8th grade.
2. He always wanted to do something big in music industry.
3. His first guru was Dhanraj Master. Before that Ilayaraj used to play devotional music in churches.
5. He worked as an assistant to many music directors including the great Music Director G.K. Venkatesh and worked for several Kannada movies.
6. He earned a diploma in music from the renowned Trinity College, London.
8. Ilayaraja made his debut in 1976 for the movie, Annakili, which is regarded as one of Tamil cinema’s cult classics. He composed for 4 films that year .
9. After his success rate increased, he started to sing more songs each day. In the year 1992, he scored music for 52 films.
11. Ilayaraja had the rare ability of writing down all his music without playing an instrument or singing the tune, in the morning hours.
12. Mixing and other finishing work is done the same day in the time left after recording.
14. He has scored almost 4500 songs in his career, still counting.
15. He was the first Asian to write a symphony for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, at London in 1993. What is even more remarkable is the fact that he did it in an amazing one-month span. Pandit Ravi Shankar was the only other Indian to do it, besides him.
17. “Give me half an hour and I can finish a film”, his famous lines.
18. This man did not stop with making music for films. He did it for some albums too. His noted musical works include “Nothing But the Wind,” “How to Name It,” and “Singing Skylarks”.
20. Besides A.R.Rahman, he is the only Indian music composer to have won four National Film Awards (the highest honor in the Indian Cinema industry); three for best music direction and one for best background score.
21. He is also the recipient of the coveted ‘Padma Bhushan’, awarded by the Government of India.
23. He is an Instrumentalist, Conductor, Singer, Score Composer, Music Director, Lyricist and Film Producer.
Now, we are short of words to credit this legend.
24. In his career spanning over 30 years, Ilayaraja has composed a diverse variety of songs. His latest films like Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu and Shamitabh gave us a modern touch with a native feel