Ilayaraja was born on 2nd June 1943 in Pannaipuram, a little hamlet Pannaipuram ,near Madurai,Tamil Nadu . He was the third son to Ramasamy and Chinnathayi. Although he was named as Gnanadesikan he was affectionately called as Rasaiyya. Later in his life, he began to stick the Raja named by his tutor Dhanraj Master under whom he learnt a considerable chunk of instrument skills. Finally Ilayaraja name was given by the tamil film director Panju Arunachalam. Later he was known by many titles like "Isaignani" ( given by politician Karunanidhi ),Nadhabramam (God of music creation), Ragadevan (king of tunes), Maestro.
Ilayaraja entered the tamil film industry and composed his first tamil music in 1976 for the movie 'Annakili". The score for this film was a runaway success. It took the audience by surprise as it was totally a different kind of music than the other leading music directors at that time.Most of his movies were a instant hit at the stake of the music alone. Directors used his name to make profit.He adores the music composers like Ramachandra, Madan Mohan. J S Bach is his favorite in the West, and never fails to express his views about him either with the baton or with words, when opportunity strikes.
With his arrival on the scene, for the first time in India, we got a complete music director who does every thing-composing, orchestration, arrangement of instruments and writing notations.Since then he holds a record of composing songs for more than 750 feature films which include composing songs and also the background track for each one of these movies in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and English.