Singers, music directors and lyricists were felicitated at the second annual Vijay Music Awards

It was refreshing to see an awards night where the focus was strictly on music and musicians. Despite being a film music awards show, it was a pleasant surprise that singers, music directors and lyricists were celebrated with no movie stars to steal the limelight. This was their night and the film music industry got its due.

Veteran Balamuralikrishna got the evening started with ‘Oru Naal Podhuma’ and gave away the first two awards for the Best Singer - Female shared by Chinmayi for ‘Sara Sara Sara Katru’ (Vaagai Sooda Va) and Shweta Mohan for ‘Nee Koorinaal’ (180) and Best Singer - Male won by Haricharan for ‘Aariro’ (Deivathirumagal) . The winner of Super Singer Junior Aajeedh turned in a powerhouse performance when he sang ‘Aaromale’ as the crowd cheered the kid’s high energy rendition. The young performer was hounded for autographs and photographs for the rest of the evening that he needed bodyguards. The lyricist with most hits award was given to Na. Muthukumar and director Saravanan of Engeyum Eppothum came to collect the award for the Best Debut Music Director for Sathya.

Naresh Iyer and Shweta Mohan enchanted the audience with a medley of romance numbers including ‘Sundari’, ‘O Butterfly’, ‘Nee Koorinaal’ and ‘Munbe Vaa’. ‘Sara Sara Sara Katru’ also won the award for Popular Melody of The Year and Best Lyricist for Vairamuthu who was also awarded for his contribution to Tamil music. “I was nine when I first heard S. Janaki’s voice. Today, I am 59 and collecting this award from her,” an emotionally-charged Vairamuthu said and promised his fans that he would be back with more during the year. “I started off writing for Karthik and Radha. Thirty two years into the industry, I’m writing for their children in Mani Ratnam’s Kadal. If you entertain me for another 18 years, hopefully, I will write for Karthik and Radha’s grandchildren.”

Naren gave the Popular Duet Of The Year award to G.V. Prakash and Saindhavi for ‘Pirai Thedum’ (Mayakam Enna). G.V. Prakash had a rich haul, also winning awards for Best Folk Song (Velmurugan’s ‘Othasollale’ from Aadukalam) and Best Popular Song sung by a music director (‘Yaatheyaathey’ from Aadukalam). Saindhavi also won Popular Female Singer for ‘Pirai Thedum’. G.V. Prakash also performed a medley of his scores unplugged. Richard won the Best Debut Singer award for ‘Nangai’ (Engeyum Kadhal) which was also awarded the Best Western Song. Harris Jayaraj won Best Music Director. It was a show dominated by Harris and Prakash and the two even shared the stage when the latter came to collect his award from the former. Asked to pick his favourite song of the other, G.V. Prakash said he liked all songs from Minnale while Harris chose to mention songs G.V. Prakash had sung for him.

The most touching moment of the evening was witnessing S. Janaki, the veteran of 20,000 songs being honoured by all the singers at the venue after an a capella tribute by Devan (the medley included ‘Oorusanam’, ‘Paruvame’). “It’s God’s boon,” said the singer. “It just came to me automatically,” she added and dedicated it to her fans. ‘Ennammo Etho’ (Ko) was awarded the Popular Song of 2011 and S.P. Balasubramaniam won the Popular Male Singer (‘Yamma Yamma’, 7am Arivu) before Udit Narayan joined Super Singer finalist Pragati for ‘Sahana’ (Sivaji). Udit Narayan also sang ‘Kuluvaalile’(Muthu). Dharani came on to the stage to give the Popular Song of the Masses award to T. Rajendhar for ‘Kalasala’ (Osthe). Quick to catch a dig made by host Gopinath, T. Rajendhar wondered how come nobody remembered the poetry from his early films and selectively chose to introduce him only by his ‘Vada Yen Machi Vazhakka Baji’ rhyme. “I survived because I knew what to give who,” he said. “When I used to put thalam on the desk, the teacher used to tell me: Nee sothukku thalam thaan podanam (You’ll have to earn doing that). Today, that thalam only has fed me.” He didn’t disappoint the masses either by coming up with his brand of rhyme.

“The creator is Brahma. I’m just summa.” Or “People used to know me as the Dhaadi. Today they know me as Simbu’s Daddy.”

Anushka Manchanda performed ‘Thee Pidikka’, ‘Daddy Mummy’ and ‘Dum Maro Dum’ while Krish and Andrea brought the roof down with ‘Google Google’ from Thuppakki.

The programme will be screened on November 11, 11 a.m. on Vijay TV.