It's a "proud moment for the award, for the country and for Tamil Nadu," said actor Kamal Haasan.

Fans will forgive the delayed award Music Maestro Ilaiyaraaja awarded Padma Vibhushan
news Padma Vibhushan Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 21:23

Music maestro Ilaiyaraja has been conferred the country's second-highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan. He is said to have composed over 6500 songs and provided the score for over 1000 films in his career.

In his career spanning over 40 years, Ilaiyaraaja has mainly composed music for Tamil films. But he has done notable work in other South Indian languages and Hindi.

He began his career as an instrumentalist in the 1970s. A gifted musician, he can play the guitar, keyboard and harmonium.

Ilaiyaraaja has won five National Film Awards - three for Music Direction and two for his Background Score. 

He catapulted to international fame in 2002 when his song 'Rakkama kaiyathattu' from Rajinikanth-starrer Thalapathy was chosen as the fourth most popular song in a poll conducted by the BBC World service worldwide.

His debut as music director was reportedly in the Tamil film Annakkili in 1975. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2010.

Ilaiyaraja with his family after the award was announced.

After the award was announced, messages began to pour in for the legend. 

"An award for my elder, my Ilaiyaraja. He was deserving of an award when he was very young. The delay in the giving of this award will be forgiven by the fans, just like by Raja. It's a proud moment for the award, for the country and for Tamil Nadu," actor Kamal Haasan wrote.

Actor Vishal also congratulated him.