|Born||September 5, 1959|
|Origin||Kegalle, Sri Lanka|
|Instruments||Guitar, harmonica, keyboards, Piano|
Rookantha Goonatillake (Sinhala:රුකාන්ත ගුණතිලක) (born 5 September 1959) is a popular Sri Lankan singer, songwriter and composer. Rookantha started his career as a solo singer in late 1980s. He frequently duets with his wife Chandralekha Perera.
Rookantha is one of the most successful musicians in Sri Lankan pop industry. His albums have sold around 10,000 copies in Sri Lanka. He is known as the person who changed the Sri Lankan music industry in the 80's with his songs.
Life and career
Rookantha Goonatillake was born in Kegalle to a middle-class family in Sri Lanka. Since a very young age Rookantha loved music. As a result, his parents sent him to a music teacher nearby to teach him play the Piano.
Rookantha once said in a radio interview that one of his music teachers at school was not that friendly and punished him several times for not using correct fingers. Also, he found out that he is getting restricted to what the teacher wanted him to learn.
Soon, Rookantha gave up his music lessons, and started to play his very own songs, according to his way. By doing so, Rookantha had the opportunity to experiment with new songs.
Rookantha Goonatillake originally in 1976 pursued a career as a composer. In 1985 he found himself without a singer to provide the vocals on one of his compositions, "Bambara Pahasa." With a deadline hanging over him, Goonatillake provided the vocals himself beginning his career as a singer.
His song "DIGANTHAYE" featured in the "WORLD CHART SHOW" produced by RADIO EXPRESS in L.A during the late 90's. Rookantha has got awards as: BEST PLAYBACK SINGER OF THE YEAR 1994 ('Suwanda Danee' from film 'Saptha Kanya')and 1995 ('Siyumali Rosa Malee'from film 'Chitti' )
He recently appeared as one of the main judges in a reality talent show "SIRASA SUPER STAR" (American Idol concept) Rookantha's most recent album was named "MAIME INDAN" which was released on the 21st of August 2005 along with his wife Chandralekha's album named "MAGE ADARE",during their exclusive show, "RU SANDA RAE The Concert" at the famous BMICH in SriLanka.
Rookantha has released 5 albums.His first album was "AADARA REKHA" released in 1983. His second album "BAMBARA PAHASA" in 1988 and sold over 150,000 copies. His third album "DIGANTHAYE" in 1992 and sold over 100,000 copies. His fourth album "CHARUKA" was released in 1997.
Most recent tour Roo Sanda Rae took place in 2005 and 2006 ( slides available at www.labaila.com ).
The mega show of "Rookantha Chandraleka Live at Stadium" was held on August 14 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.