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What went wrong between SPB and Ilayaraja?

The music lovers in the United States received a shock, when noted playback singer of south India S P Balasubrahmanyam announced at a concern in the Bay Area on Saturday that he was not going to sing the songs of music maestro Ilayaraja anymore.

He later posted on his Facebook page that he, along with other singers like K S Chitra and S P B Charan, had received legal notice from Ilayaraja stating that they were not allowed to sing his compositions without his permission.

The managements of the venues were also issued notices by an attorney on behalf of Ilayaraja. The notices said they are not allowed to sing Ilayaraaja’s songs without his permission.

“If we do, it is breaking the copyright law, and we have to pay huge financial penalties and face legal action,” SPB said, adding that he was unaware of the legalities.

The singer further said that Ilayaraaja had not sent them any such notice earlier when they performed his compositions during their “SPB50” world tour, which began in August 2016.

“I don’t know why [he sent the notices] now when we started our US tour...If it is a law, so be it and I will obey it,” he said, adding that they had performed in Russia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Dubai and a number of locations in India, too.

Assuring fans that he will continue to perform other composers’ songs at his concerts, Balasubrahmanyam appealed to them to “face the situation with grace” and not form “harsh opinions” against Ilayaraaja over the matter.

“I could have certainly talked to him had he contacted me or sent a mail before our tour...My intention of this information was to prepare the audience. I do not want my good friend Shri Raaja to be inconvenienced,” the Tamil singer said.

Nobody knows what exactly had happened between SPB and Ilayaraja, as both of them had been good friends and had great respect towards each other.

There were some hundreds of super hit songs in their combination. It looks like both of them had some differences in the recent past and that could be the reason for this sudden legal battle.

Here is the full text of the SPB’s comment on his Facebook page:

“Couple of days back, an Attorney representing Shri.Iliaya Raja, sent legal notices to me, Smt.Chithra, Charan, organisers of the concerts in different cities and the managements of all the venues, which says that we are not supposed to perform compositions of Shri.Iliayaraja without his permission, if so, it is breaking the copyright law and have to pay huge financial penalities and face legal action. Let me say, I am ignorant of these legalities. 

My Son designed this world tour and wekick started this SPB50 conncert tour in August in Toranto, then we performed in Russia, Srilanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and did lots of shows in India too. I did not get any feelers from Shri. Raja's office at that time. I dont know why now when we started our US tour. As I said earlier, I am ignorant of the law. If it is a law, so be it and I obey it.

In these circumstances, our troupe can not perform Isaijnani's compositions from to day. But the show should happen.By God's grace I have sung lots of other composer's songs too which we will present. Hope you all will bless our concerts as usual.

I am always grateful for your love and affection.

I only request you all not to have any harsh opinions and discussions regarding this. If this is the design of God, I obey it with reverence. 

Sarvejanah Sukhinobhavanthu."

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