Legendary music director MS Viswanathan passes away

Chennai(ANI): Legendary music director MS Viswanathan passed away at a Chennai hospital on Tuesday morning.


Fondly referred to as MSV, the composer was reportedly undergoing treatment for old-age related ailments and breathing problems before his condition deteriorated.

MSV was a popular music director in the Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam film industries and the 87-year-old had over 750 movies to his credit.

Editor’s addition:

Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan (24 June 1928 – 14 July 2015), also known as M.S.V., was a Kollywood music director and composer from South India. He was popularly known as Mellisai Mannar (Tamil for “The King of Light Music”). He has composed songs in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada,Hindi for over 1200 films. His major works over the past six decades had been in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films wherein he composed music for 800 Tamil films, 80 Malaylam films and 30 Telegu films. He has also acted and sung in a few Tamil films. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa conferred the Thirai Isai Chakravarthy (Tamil for “The Emperor of Cine Music”) title on him in August 2012 and presented him with 60 gold coins and a new car.

Viswanathan composed film music together with composer and violinist T. K. Ramamoorthy in the 1950s to 1965, as Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy and since 1965 till 2014 he has worked independently as a composer. Viswanathan had always wanted to be an actor and singer, but was not successful. He had had a few small roles in stage dramas in the 1940s. The composer and violinist T. R. Papa met Viswanathan, took a liking to him and arranged a job for him as an errand boy for S. V. Venkatraman’s musical troupe. In that company of musicians, Viswanathan realised that he had the inclination and the potential for composing music. He thereafter joined S. M. Subbaiah Naidu and at times assisted him. He then joined C. R. Subburaman’s musical troupe as a harmonium player. Here, he met T. K. Ramamoorthy and T. G. Lingappa, the two leading violinists at that time. T. G. Lingappa also became a renowned music composer on his own in the 1950s.

Viswanathan was married to Janaki and they have four sons and three daughters. His wife, Janaki, died on 14 May 2012.

He is known to have looked after his original Guru, S.M.Subbaiah Naidu, when the latter fell into financial difficulties and then continued to look after his wife until her death. In July 2015, Viswanathan was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties. He died on 14 July 2015 from a kidney cancer at Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India