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.
He always wanted to do something big in music industry! He worked as an assistant to many music directors including the great Music Director G.K. Venkatesh and worked for several Kannada movies.
His first guru was Dhanraj Master. Before that Ilayaraj used to play devotional music in churches.
He earned a diploma in music from the renowned Trinity College, London. He is a gold medalist in Classical Guitar from the ‘Trinity College of Music’. Classical and guitar is a magical combination, afterall!
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 . After his success rate increased, he started to sing more songs each day. In the year 1992, he scored music for 52 films.
He is also the recipient of the coveted ‘Padma Bhushan’, awarded by the Government of India. He is an Instrumentalist, Conductor, Singer, Score Composer, Music Director, Lyricist and Film Producer. Now, we are short of words to credit this legend.