Deva

Date of Birth: November 20, 1950
Occupation:
Music Director, Singer
Awards:
Tamil Nadu State Film Award, Kalaimamani Award
Titles:
M. S. Viswanathan the title "Thenisai Thendral"
Deva
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Born November 20, 1950 (1950-11-20) (age 60)
Origin Tamil Nadu, India
Occupations Film composer, music director
Instruments Vocals (playback singing), guitar, keyboard/harmonium/piano

Deva (Tamil:) is an Indian film composer and singer. He has composed songs and provided background music for Tamil films in a career spanning about 20 years. Many know his gaana songs, written mostly using Madras Tamil. He is known as the "Father of Gaana Genre" in the Tamil film industry.

Deva has composed music for many films within a very short period. He debuted as a film music director in the film Manasukkeththa Maharaasa in 1989. In the intervening years he has composed music for a total of more than 400 films.

Personal life
Deva was born to M. C. Chokkalingam and M. C. Krishnaveni. Even in his childhood, Deva was attracted to the world of music. Teaming up with Chandra Bose, he staged many musical programmes. He started learning classical music under Dhanraj and completed a course in Western music at Trinity College of Music in London. His son Srikanth Deva is also a music director, as are his brothers, who have formed the duo Sabesh-Murali. His nephew Jai is an actor.


Career
Before coming to cinema, Deva worked for some time in the television field. In those days Deva's brothers were working in the musical troupes of Illayaraja and other music directors as instrumentalists. But Deva took special interests for self-improvement in his profession and at the same time he was looking for chances to enter movies. But the benefits of those efforts did not bear fruit easily. Only after much hardship he managed to enter the field with the help of some friends and his four brothers. Just after his entry, the production work of those films, for which negotiations were on for fixing Deva as the music director, could not get completed and some other films with his music could not be released at all.

Deva continued his search for an opening, which finally began yielding results in 1989. His first film, Manasukkeththa Maharaasaa, was released in 1989. He was then called to work on the movie Vaikaasi Poranthaachu. This film was a huge hit and Deva was praised for his work. After the release of Vaikaasi Poranthaachu, his name became known throughout the Tamil community.

So far he has composed music for more than 400 films, which include Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films. He is also famous for his compositions for religious films. He was widely acclaimed for his scores for Rajinikanth starrer Basha. His other famous compositions include Annamalai and Baasha, both starring Rajnikanth.

He recently made a special appearance in the film Modhi Vilayadu.


Honours
Veteran music director M. S. Viswanathan the title "Thenisai Thendral" upon Deva for his contributions.


Awards
In 1990, he received his first Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director. He received the Tamil Nadu Government's Kalaimamani Award in the year 1992. In 1995, the film Aasai brought him another state film award. For Baasha, he got the Tamil Nadu Arts and Cultural Academy Award. He has also been honoured by awards from popular journals like Dinakaran, Cinema Express and Screen.


Criticism
One of the major criticisms against Deva is plagiarism.1 He is known for lifting snippets and sometimes even the full song from famous old and recent English pop songs and using them as his own. Some of the alleged lifts include famous boy band Blue, the song "Alane" by Wes, Pakistani band Junoon, English bands Sasha, Linkin Park, The Wonders, Backstreet Boys, etc.