Ilaiyaraaja (Tamil: இளையராஜா, IPA: [ɪləjəɹɑːdʒɑː]) (born June 2, 1943 as Gnanadesikan) is an Indian film composer, singer, and lyricist. He has composed over 4,000 songs and provided background music for more than 800 Indian films in various languages in a career spanning 30 years. He is based in Chennai, India. Ilaiyaraaja was the most prominent composer of film music in South Indian cinema during the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. His work integrated Tamil folk lyricism and introduced broader Western musical sensibilities into the South Indian musical mainstream.