List of awards and nominations received by Ilaiyaraaja

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List of awards and nominations won by Ilaiyaraaja
Ilaiyaraaja BHung.jpg
Ilaiyaraaja at his studio in Chennai
Total number of wins and nominations
Totals 25 25

Ilaiyaraaja is an Indian film composer and instrumentalist who has worked in over 1000 films in various languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, English, Marathi, Sanskrit, Punjabi with majority of his works in the Tamil language.[1]

Ilaiyaraaja has also worked as conductor and a songwriter. His songs and background score played a crucial role in the success of many of his films. He is widely regarded as one of the most popular composers in the South Indian film industry,[2] and also in the list of world's top selling music artists. Making his debut through Annakili, a Tamil film in 1976, Ilaiyaraaja has been a prominent composer of film music in South Indian cinema since the late 1970s. He integrated folk lyricism (in Tamil) and introduced broader Western musical sensibilities into the South Indian musical mainstream. A gold medalist in classical guitar from Trinity College of Music, London in 1993 he became the first Asian to compose a full symphony performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London's Walthamstow Town Hall. In a 2003 BBC international poll, people from 155 countries voted his composition "Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu" from the 1991 film Thalapathi as fourth in the world's top 10 most popular songs of all time. In 2010, he was bestowed upon Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour by the Government of India.

Ilaiyaraaja has won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the Tamil film Sindhu Bhairavi (1986) and the Telugu films Rudraveena (1989) and Saagara Sangamam (1984). He won three Best Composer awards during the 1980s at the National Film Awards (India).[3][4] In 2010, Ilaiyaraaja won the National Film Award for Best Background Score for Malayalam film Pazhassi Raja.[5] He also won the Gold Remi Award for Best Music Score jointly with film composer M. S. Viswanathan at the WorldFest-Houston Film Festival for his work in the film Vishwa Thulasi in 2005. In 2015, he was also honoured with the Centenary Award for lifetime achievement at the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Panaji, Goa.

He was conferred the title Isaignani (English: Savant of Music) in 1988 by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and also received the Kalaimamani award, an annual award for excellence in the field of arts from the Government of Tamil Nadu.[6] He also received State Government Awards from the governments of Tamil Nadu, Kerala (1994, 1995, 1998), Andhra Pradesh (1981, 1988, 1990) and Madhya Pradesh (The Lata Mangeshkar Award) (1998) for excellence in music. He is also a recipient of the NTR National Award in 2004.[7] Alongside he also won the Akshaya Samman of the year (2010), a prestigious musical award from Orissa for his outstanding contribution in the field of music.[8]

Ilaiyaraaja was awarded honorary doctorates by Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India (Degree of Doctor of Letter (Honoris causa)) (1994), the World University Round Table, Arizona, U.S.A. (Cultural Doctorate in Philosophy of Music) (April 1994), and Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu (Degree of Doctor of Letters) (1996). He received an award of appreciation from the Foundation and Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (1994), and later that year was presented with an honorary citizenship and key to the Teaneck township by John Abraham, Mayor Teaneck. In a poll conducted by the BBC, his track "Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu" from the 1991 movie Thalapathi rated Number 4 in the World's Top Ten list.,[9] Ilayaraja was honoured with Sachin Dev Burman international award for creative music and sound in January 2012.

Civilian honours[edit]

Year Award Honouring body Ref
2010 Padma Bhushan Government of India [10]

National Film Awards[edit]

Year Film language Category Outcome Ref
1984 Saagara Sangamam Telugu Best Music Direction Won [11]
1986 Sindhu Bhairavi Tamil [12]
1989 Rudra Veena Telugu [3]
2009 Pazhassi Raja Malayalam Best Background Score [13]
2016 Tharai Thappattai Tamil [14]

WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival[edit]

Year Film Award Outcome Ref
2005 Vishwa Thulasi Golden Remi Award Won [15]

International Film Festival of India (IFFI)[edit]

Year Field Award Outcome Ref
2015 Music Centenary Award for Lifetime Achievement Won [16]

Filmfare Awards South[edit]

Year Film Language Category Outcome Ref
1989 Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South Contribution to Cinema Won [17]
1990 Bobbili Raja Telugu Best Music Director [18]
1991 Thalapathi Tamil [19]
2001 Kasi Tamil Nominated
2003 Pithamagan Tamil
2003 Manassinakkare Malayalam Won
2005 Achuvinte Amma Malayalam
2008 Innathe Chintha Vishayam Malayalam Nominated
2009 Naan Kadavul Tamil Best Lyricist
2009 Bhagyadevatha Malayalam Best Music Director
2010 Kadha Thudarunnu Malayalam
2011 Sri Rama Rajyam Telugu [20]
2012 Nee Thaane En Pon Vasantham Tamil

Kerala State Film Awards[edit]

Year Film Category Outcome Ref
1994 Sammohanam Best Background Music Won [21]
1995 Kalapani Best Music Director [22]
1998 Kallu Kondoru Pennu Best Background Music [23]

Kerala State Government Awards[edit]

Year Award Honouring body Outcome Ref
2016 Nishagandhi Puraskaram Government of Kerala Won [24]

Screen Awards[edit]

Year Film Category Outcome
2001 Hey Ram Best Background Music Won

Nandi Awards[edit]

Year Film Category Outcome
1981 Seethakoka Chiluka Best Music Director Won
1988 Rudraveena
1990 Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari
2011 Sri Rama Rajyam
2012 Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu

Tamil Nadu State Government Awards[edit]

Year Award Honouring body Outcome Ref
1988 Kalaimamani Government of Tamil Nadu Won

Tamil Nadu State Film Awards[edit]

Year Film(s) Category Outcome
1977 16 Vayathinile Best Music Director Won
1980 Nizhalgal
1981 Alaigal Oivathillai
1988 Agni Natchathiram
1989 Varusham Padhinaaru, Karagattakaran
2009 Ajantha

Norway Tamil Film Festival Awards[edit]

Year Film Award Outcome Ref
2011 Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai Best Music Director Won [25]

Sangeet Natak Akademi Award[edit]

Year Field Category Outcome Ref
2012 Music Creative and experimental music Won [26][27]


  1. ^ "Ilayaraja gets Padma Bhushan". Deccan Chronicle. 26 January 2010. Archived from the original on 25 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  2. ^ "Film Score Daily: An "Unknown" Indian Film Music master". Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  3. ^ a b "36th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Akal Information Systems Ltd. p. 52. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Ilaiyaraaja to be conferred Akshaya Samman 2010". NDTV. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "I don't think about awards while composing: Ilayaraja". Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  6. ^ "Music magic on a rewind". The Hindu, 5 April 2004, Monday. Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  7. ^ "Ilayaraja, Ambarish, Krishna get NTR award". Hyderabad: The Hindu, Business Line. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Ilaiyaraaja to be conferred Akshaya Samman 2010". Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  9. ^ "The Worlds Top Ten | BBC World Service". Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  10. ^ "Nobel laureate Venky, Ilayaraja, Rahman, Aamir to receive Padma awards". The Hindu. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "31st National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Akal Information Systems Ltd. p. 16. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "33rd National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Akal Information Systems Ltd. p. 38. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "56th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Akal Information Systems Ltd. p. 138. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "63rd National Film Awards". Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  15. ^ "The Official Website of M.S.Viswanathan – Legendary Indian Composer". MSV Times. 21 October 2004. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  16. ^ "Ilaiyaraja honoured with IFFI Centenary Award". The Hindu. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Best Music Director". Filmfare. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  21. ^ "Kerala State Film Awards – 1994". Kerala Chalachitra Academy. C-DIT. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  22. ^ "Kerala State Film Awards – 1995". Kerala Chalachitra Academy. C-DIT. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  23. ^ "Kerala State Film Awards – 1998". Kerala Chalachitra Academy. C-DIT. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  24. ^ "Nishagandhi Puraskaram award presented to Ilayaraja". Indian Express. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  25. ^ "Vishal and Richa Win Awards". 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards 2012" (PDF). Press Information Bureau, Govt of India. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  27. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees". Sangeet Natak Akademi Official website.