Lakhs of Tamils tune into his music before going to sleep. Successive generations swear that his romantic songs will remain etched in the popular consciousness as love anthems. Even today, no live orchestra show in Tamil Nadu is complete without at least a dozen Ilaiyaraaja songs spanning over three decades.
And yet, the 75-year-old doyen recently had to plead openly that he needed to be paid royalties for public performances of his songs. “It is my creation, and when you earn money from that, should I not get my due share from that?” he asked in an emotional video post. He also cautioned that failure to honour his request would lead to legal action.