Music maestro Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja was on Thursday bestowed with the second-highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India. In a career spanning over four decades, the legendary composer has given music in over 1000 films. Ilaiyaraaja has mainly composed for Tamil films but has also given music to various Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam films.
“The Padma Vibhushan award conferred upon me is an indication of PM Modi led government’s respect to Tamil people and Tamil Nadu,” Ilaiyaraaja told the press after the announcement, reports a leading news agency.
Ilaiyaraaja has won five National Awards, three for Music Direction and two for Background Score. He is also an instrumentalist, singer and songwriter.
He first gave music for the 1975 Tamil film Annakkili and has given music for over 6500 songs. In 2010, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India. His last National Film Award was for the Tamil film Tharai Thappattai, which he won for the background score.
Ilaiyaraaja’s musical style was noted as he introduced Western style and combining it with Indian classical arrangements.
The legendary music composer has recently sung for Maari 2, which stars Dhanush in the lead role. Dhanush had shared this news on Twitter. He wrote, ”So happy to announce that the maestro Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja sang a song for ‘Maari 2’. What a delightful divine experience. We feel so blessed and super thrilled.”
Apart from Ilaiyaraaja, cricketer MS Dhoni received Padma Bhushan. While Mr. Ilaiyaraja was among the three Padma Vibhushan awardees, the former India captain is among the nine Padma Bhushan recipients.
Ghulam Mustafa Khan (Maharashtra) and Parameswaran Parameswaran (Kerala) were the other Padma Vibhushan awardees. Pankaj Advani, Philipose Mar Chrysostom, Alexander Kadakin (posthumous), Ramachandran Nagaswamy, Laxman Pai, Ved Prakash Nanda, Arvind Parikh and Sharda Sinha are the other Padma Bhushan recipients.