The debut album of the composer Ilayaraja was ‘Annakkili’, a Tamil album released in 1976. He now has a record of over 1000 albums and several honors on his credit.
He has a strong footprint in music across languages. Ilayaraja predominantly worked in the Tamil industry though. He also has masterpieces across several languages. In the Hindi industry, he has worked in just around half a dozen movies; however, his work was still unparalleled.
The maestro forayed into Hindi cinema with Kamal Haasan’s Sadma, a remake of Balu Mahendra’s Tamil film Moondram Pirai. It could be argued that it was Ilayaraja’s long-time association with Balu Mahendra that paved the way for his entry into Bollywood.
Four years after the release of Sadma, Ilayaraja returned to Bollywood with Kamagni and it was soon followed by Raj Sippy’s Mahadev. In 1996, Ilayaraja reunited with Balu Mahendra for Aur Ek Prem Kahaani.
Even though Ilayaraja worked on the Hindi remake of Ram Gopal Varma’s Shiva and Kamal Haasan’s Hey Ram and Mumbai Express, which were released in Hindi; it was in 2007 he made a strong comeback with R Balki’s Cheeni Kum and went on to work with him in Paa, Shamitabh and Ki & Ka.