Ilaiyaraaja (born Gnanadesikan) is an Indian film composer who works in the Indian film Industry. His body of work has spanned across Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Hindi and English language films. Regarded as one of the finest music composers in India, Ilaiyaraaja is also an instrumentalist, conductor, singer, and a songwriter. To date, he has composed over 4500 songs and provided film scores for more than 950 Indian films in various languages, particularly being acclaimed for his background scoring. His songs and background score played a very crucial role in the success of many films.
Ilaiyaraaja has been a prominent composer of film music in the South Indian cinema since the late 1970s. His works are mainly in Tamil, but has also scored music for numerous films in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi. Of late, he also composed for two Marathi films. He integrated folk—in Tamil—and introduced western musical sensibilities into the South Indian musical mainstream.