A lyricist that wrote over 5,000 songs, a poet with 4,000+ poems under his belt, and a novelist with words that etched themselves in the history of Tamil Nadu. With a career spanning over four decades, workpieces in the counting of thousands, and a dabble into politics as well, Kannadasan is one of the most well-known Tamil lyricists and writers.  

Born as Muthiah on the 24th of June, 1927 to Sathappan Chettiar and Visalakshi Aachi in Sirukudalpatti, near Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, India. He was the eighth child of the couple with ten siblings. Due to a tradition of giving away one of your children to a childless couple, he was adopted by Chigappi Aachi, who named him Narayan. They raised him and were responsible for his education. Even as a child he had an interest in literature and poetry and even though he dropped out of school after 8th standard, his dreams were to publish his writing. At the age of 16, he left home to chase his dreams. 

While he was traveling and searching for a job, a thought struck him that his name was quite old-fashioned. S based on a religious Krishana legend (Kannan in Tamil) who was born as the eighth child to Vasudevan and Devaki much like Muthiah was, he renamed himself Kannadasan. Though this name of his went on to become one of the most remembered names in literature history for any Tamil lyricist, he also wrote under various pseudo names.  

Though Kannadasan was known as is still greatly remembered for a variety of his works like his poems and his books, his greatest contribution was his songwriting for the industry. His first lyrics break came in the form of the movie Kanniyin Kaadhali in 1949 when he first ventured into the world of songwriting. And once he began, there was no looking back. He was in his career time, the most sought-after lyricist in the industry and he remained so until his demise. He is considered to be the greatest modern Tamil poet right after Subramanya Bharthi.  

Some of his famous songs were Singari, Paasam, Paava Mannippu, Karuppu Panam, Parisu, Periya Idathu Penn, Urimaikural, Vettaikaaran, En Kadamai, Nadodi, Paasa Malar, Iruvar Ullam, Aalayam, Annai, Pazhani, Billa, Thee, Moondram Pirai amongst others. He went on to write over 5,000 lyrics, 4000+ poems, 10 spiritual books, and over 30 notable novels.  

For most of his life, Kannadasan was believed to be an atheist but in the latter part of his life, he showed an inclination towards Hinduism. He was also one of the founding members of Sivaji Ganesan’s political party. In fact, his 10-part treatise on Hinduism is one of the highest-selling Tamil books.  

Coming to the awards, Kannadasan had no shortage of accolades and honors. He was awarded “Poet Laureate” by the Government of Tamil Nadu. After his demise, the state also built a memorial in his hometown along with a library. “Cheraman Kadhali”, his novel was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award in 1980. He was called the king of poetry and he remains a legend in the history of Tamil Poetry. 

After leading a flourishing and well cherished four decades-long career, Kannadasan left the world on the 17th of October 1981 while attending a conference in Chicago. The exact reason for his demise remains unknown as requested by his family.  

On the occasion of his 94th Birth Anniversary, Saregama celebrates his life and contributions to Tamil Cinema and the literature industry. 

Now you can stream and download your favorite melodies penned by Kannadasan on Saregama Carvaan Tamil. Saregama Carvaan Tamil is a portal audio player with 5000 evergreen Tamil Songs and Hindi songs that you can listen to anywhere and anytime without ad breaks or internet connection. It also has other features like Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, and AUX connectivity.