Tamil News

Manikka Vinayakam, Veteran Tamil Singer & Actor, Dies of Cardiac Arrest

Manikka Vinayakam, the playback singer and actor who predominantly worked in the Tamil film industry, died at his residence in Chennai on Sunday night. 


According to a report in Thanthi TV, the singer-actor died due to cardiac arrest.

He was born in Mayiladuthurai to Bharathanatyam dancer ‘Natyacharya Padmashri’ Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai. His music teacher was singer CS Jayaram. 

Vinayakam has sung more than 800 songs in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films. However, he only made his debut as a playback singer past the age of 50 with the hit song Kannukulla Oruthi, composed by Vidyasagar for the Vikram-starrer Dhill (2001).

Another prominent song in his career was Vidai Kodu Engal Naade from the 2002 film Kannathil Muthamittal.

Other popular songs of Vinayakam include Theradi VeedhiyilRun (2002), Koduva MeesaiDhool (2003), Kokku Para Para – Chandramukhi (2005), Mannargudi Kalakalakka – Sivappathigaram (2006), Ayyayyo – Paruthiveeran (2007), and America Endralum – Santhosh Subramaniam (2008).

Vinayakam made his acting debut in the 2003 Dhanush-starrer Thiruda Thirudi and went on to do character roles in films like Gambeeram (2004), Perazhagan (2004), Thimiru (2006), Thozhi (2009), Vettaikkaran (2009) and Yuddham Sei (2011), among others. 

Several artists from the Tamil film industry, including singer Srinivas and actor Kalaiarasan, took to social media to pay tribute to the late singer and actor. Srinivas, in his Instagram post, wrote, “Manikka Vinayagam sir is no more. Shocking news. He was an unbelievable musician and singer. Thank you for the music, sir.”

Lyricist Arun Bharathi recalled how during his college days, the singer found a place in his heart with the Kannukulla Oruthi song. 


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin also shared his condolences on social media and noted that Vinayakam was a gem of a person just as his name suggests. “Like his father and brother, Vinayakam also showered love on Kalaignar and me. My condolences to all those who are grieving his demise. With over 800 songs to his credit, be the tune peppy or melancholic, he mesmerised the audience by expressing the right emotions with his voice. Whenever he visited Anna Arivaalayam, he used to enquire about me with great care.”

On Monday morning, the chief minister visited the late singer’s house to pay tribute in person.