Ilaiyaraaja Singer Wiki Bio Net Worth


Ilaiyaraaja is one of the most celebrated and influential music composers in India. He has been active in the Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam film industries. His career has spanned over four decades, with over 7,000 songs composed. His music has crossed cultural and language barriers, and he is renowned for his ability to create a wide variety of styles. He has won a number of awards including four National Film Awards and four Filmfare awards. His net worth is estimated to be around $14.5 million. Through this article, readers will gain a greater understanding of Ilaiyaraaja’s life and career, his influence on the Indian music industry, and his current net worth


Ilaiyaraaja is an Indian film composer, singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, conductor and philanthropist from Tamil Nadu. He has composed over 6,500 songs and provided film scores for more than 1000 films, particularly being acclaimed for his background scores. He is one of the most respected and prolific musicians in India and is known for his genius in blending western classical music with traditional Indian Carnatic music to create unique soundscapes that have been appreciated by audiences all over the world.

Ilaiyaraaja has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “the world’s most prolific composer” and has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, by the Government of India in 2010. He has sold over 50 million records worldwide and has been the recipient of India’s highest national honour in music, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. He has also won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director a record 32 times.

Ilaiyaraaja has also conducted symphonic orchestras and collaborated with several famous musicians around the world, including Michael Nyman and Ryuichi Sakamoto. He has also composed music for several theatrical productions, including the critically acclaimed stage play, Oru Naal Koothu. In addition to this, he has also released many successful solo albums such as How to Name It, Music for the Soul, and Love Is God.

Early Life: Childhood & Education

Ilaiyaraaja is an Indian film composer, songwriter, singer, and instrumentalist. He is widely regarded as one of India’s most prolific and influential composers of all time. Born as Gnanadesikan on June 2, 1943, in Theni, Tamil Nadu, Ilaiyaraaja had a humble childhood. His father was a farmer while his mother was a homemaker.

At the age of 5, Ilaiyaraaja used to play harmonium, keyboard and guitar. He started his formal education in music at the age of 10 and went on to master a variety of instruments, including the violin, mandolin, and flute. He is also an accomplished singer and songwriter.

At the age of 14, Ilaiyaraaja started his career as an assistant to veteran Tamil composer and conductor, M.S. Viswanathan. He later began his own career as a composer by composing music for the Tamil film Annakkili. This was the beginning of a very successful career in film music.

Ilaiyaraaja has composed over 6,000 songs and provided film scores for more than 1,000 films, particularly being noted for his background scores. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including four National Film Awards, three Filmfare Awards, five Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and numerous other awards. His net worth is estimated at around INR 1,000 crore.

Musical Career: Beginnings & Success

Ilaiyaraaja is a renowned Indian composer, singer, and songwriter from Tamil Nadu. He is one of the most prolific composers of Indian cinema, having composed more than 5000 songs and over 1000 film scores. His musical career began when he joined the troupe of composer G.K. Venkatesh and started working as a session and live-recording musician.

It was through his work with G.K. Venkatesh that Ilaiyaraaja first earned recognition. His debut film score was for the 1975 Tamil film Annakili. Since then, he has composed music for over 1000 films in various languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, and English. He has also released several albums and singles of his original composition and covered popular old songs.

Ilaiyaraaja has been awarded numerous accolades for his work. In 2003, he was bestowed the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award. Other notable awards include the 2001 Tamil Nadu State Award for Best Music Director, the 2009 National Film Award for Best Music Direction, and the inaugural 2015 Ilaiyaraaja Global Music Award.

Ilaiyaraaja has also been credited for introducing western instruments like the saxophone and guitar into the Indian music scene. In addition, he has been credited for creating the fusion of classical and electronic music. His impressive accomplishments have earned him the nickname “The Maestro” and has made him a household name in India.

Awards & Recognition

The Indian singer, songwriter, and composer Ilaiyaraaja has won numerous awards for his contribution to the music industry. He is the first Asian composer to have composed over 4,000 songs and over 1,000 film scores throughout his lengthy career. He is one of the most acclaimed music directors of India, having won four National Awards and fifty-three Filmfare Awards South.

The Padma Bhushan awardee has also won many international accolades such as the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award in 2003, the Chevalier Award at the French cultural ministry in 2010, and the MTV Music Icon award in 2014. His songs have been featured in the Grammy Hall of Fame, making him the first Indian to be included in the list.

Ilaiyaraaja has also been recognized as the “Isaignani” (“Musical Genius”) by the Tamil Nadu government in 2018. In 2018, he was also awarded the “Living Legend of India Award” by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. His net worth is estimated to be around $11 million as of 2020.

His iconic works include composing for Tamil films such as Mouna Ragam, Nayagan, and Thalapathi. He has also collaborated with various music directors and singers including A.R. Rahman, Shankar Mahadevan, GV Prakash, and SP Balasubramaniam.

Personal Life: Family & Net Worth

Ilaiyaraaja is an iconic Indian composer, songwriter, singer, and musician. He has composed more than 6,000 songs and provided film scores for over 1,000 movies in various languages. His work has been awarded several times and he is regarded as one of the greatest music composers of all time.

Ilaiyaraaja was born in 1943 in Pannaipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. He began playing the veena at the age of five and graduated from the Annamalai University, Chidambaram, with a degree in music in the late 1960s. He has won several awards and accolades for his work, including the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India.

Ilaiyaraaja has also contributed to UNESCO’s International Music Council. He is a renowned singer as well, and has recorded over 40,000 songs in 16 languages. He has collaborated with various renowned singers and musicians such as K. J. Yesudas, P. Susheela, and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam.

He has a personal net worth of $25 million and is considered one of the wealthiest singers in India. His music has earned him the title ‘the Isaignani’ or ‘the Maestro’, and he is credited with revolutionizing the Tamil film music scene. He continues to influence the music industry, making him a revered and admired figure in the country.

Legacy & Influence

Ilaiyaraaja is an Indian composer and singer-songwriter, often referred to as the ‘Maestro of Indian Music’ and ‘Isai-Gnani’. His sound is a fusion of Indian classical music, folk music and modern western music, creating a unique style of music. He has composed over 6000 film scores and songs, and is the first Asian composer to score a symphony for the London Symphony Orchestra.

Ilaiyaraaja has won numerous awards for his work, including five National Awards for Best Music Direction and Best Background Score, as well as numerous Filmfare Awards and South Indian Music Academy Awards. He has been honored with the Padma Bhushan in 2010, and has also been the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

In 2020, Ilaiyaraaja was ranked as the second-best composer of the millennium by the Indian music magazine ‘The Hindu’. His influence on Indian music is undeniable and his influence is seen in numerous current music genres, including film scores, folk, and world music. His influence extends beyond India and he is highly respected worldwide.

Ilaiyaraaja’s renowned work has made him one of the wealthiest musicians in India. According to a 2018 report, he is estimated to have a net worth of around $20 million. He has earned his wealth through his highly successful career as a composer and singer, as well as through his own record label.


The Indian music composer, Ilaiyaraaja, is one of the legendary singers of the country. Born in 1943, his career spans several decades, where he is well-known for his incredibly diverse musical style that fuses Indian classical and folk music with Western styles. He has composed more than 1000 films, comprising over 6000 songs and numbering over 200 private albums. Ilaiyaraaja has won four National Film Awards and numerous state awards. He has also been the recipient of several prestigious awards like the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

Ilaiyaraaja’s discography is remarkable for its vast range of genres and styles. It includes soundtracks to critically acclaimed films such as Thalapathi, Anbe Sivam, and Agni Natchathiram. His albums include the notable works like How to Name It, Sooryagayathri, and Thiruvizha Jayashankar. His recent album, Maestro Ilaiyaraaja, was released in 2020, and was composed with an orchestra of 200 musicians.

Ilaiyaraaja’s net worth is estimated to be around $3 million, as of 2021. He is one of the most sought after singers in the industry, and his songs have been featured in popular films, television shows, and international projects. Ilaiyaraaja’s music has influenced a generation of music makers, and has also been the inspiration for many contemporary composers.


Ilaiyaraaja is a legendary singer, songwriter, and composer who has revolutionized South Indian music. His unique style, passionate lyrics, and magical melodies have captivated millions of fans throughout his entire career. His success is a testament to his immense talent and passion for music. His Net Worth is an impressive $50 million, a testament to his extraordinary success in the music industry. I would highly recommend taking the time to listen to his music and discover the magic of Ilaiyaraaja for yourself. His music will surely leave you feeling inspired and uplifted.


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