When Lata worked with Ilayaraaja, SPB for popular Tamil numbers
Lata Mangeshkar, who has rendered her mellifluous voice to songs in several regional languages, has sung in five Tamil films of which two were dubbed from Hindi.
The first Tamil film she sang for was Aan Murattu Adiyaal (1953). It was dubbed from the Hindi film Aan in 1952, starring Dilip Kumar. She sang the numbers Izhandhen Unnai Anbe, Nagaru Nagaru, Paadu Singara Paadalai and Indru Endhan Nenjil. The music of the film was composed by Naushad and the Tamil lyrics were penned by Kambadasan.
In 1955, when Dilip Kumar-starrer Uran Khatola was dubbed as Vaana Ratham for the Tamil audience, Lata gave her voice to the song Endhan Kannaalan. Composed by Naushad, all the songs in the original version of the film were sung by Lata and Mohammed Rafi. The Tamil songs were penned again by the lyricist Kambadasan.
After a long hiatus, Lata was again roped in for the song Aaraaroo Aaraaroo, for the film Anand (1987), composed by music director Ilayaraaja. The film starred Prabhu, son of veteran actor Sivaji Ganesan. This was her first direct Tamil song and was penned by Gangai Amaran, the younger brother of Ilayaraaja.
The next year, she lent her voice for the cult film Sathya starring Kamal Haasan. Composed by Ilayaraaja and written by Vaali, she sung Valaiyosai Gala Gala with popular playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam. It went on to become one of the most popular romantic numbers in Tamil cinema.
In the same year, she sang Engiruntho Azhaikkum from the film En Jeevan Paaduthu (1988) starring Karthik. Lata sung the song both in the solo and as a duet with Mano, another popular playback singer. The soundtrack of the film was composed by Ilayaraaja.
While Ilayaraaja made Lata to sing in Tamil films, he, however, was not the only Tamil musician she worked with. In 2006, she worked with Oscar-winning musician AR Rahman for the song Lukka Chuppi in the film Rang De Basanti.