Music great Ilaiyaraaja was one of the 43 individuals who was conferred Padma Awards by President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday. He collected Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of the country, at Civil Investiture ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other dignitaries.
Ilaiyaraaja was recommended for the prestigious award by the center for his contribution to the field of music and the Tamil language. He has composed thousands of songs in a decorated career spanning nearly five decades. Almost all of his compositions in Tamil are celebrated as classics, while he has also delivered blockbusters and evergreen songs in Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi.
He is also credited as the first Indian to compose a full symphony that was performed by the London-based Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1993. He also has five National Awards under his belt for his work in films and was given Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award of the country, in 2010.
“Hearty Congratulations to the Music Maestro, Isaignani #Ilaiyaraaja, on being honoured with the Padma Vibhushan for his contribution to the Indian Music Industry,” tweeted the International Film Festival of India, which had honored the music legend with the Centenary Award at its annual film festival in 2015.
When his name was announced by the Home Ministry earlier this year for Padma Awards, Ilaiyaraaja had said, “I think the Modi-government is honoring the Tamil people and the state of Tamil Nadu through this award.’
Along with Ilaiyaraaja, Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni, Ghulam Mustafa Khan were among those who were honoured on Tuesday. The remaining 42 individuals will be felicitated in a similar ceremony on April 2.