Vaali (born T. S. Rangarajan; 29 October 1931 – 18 July 2013) was an Indian poet and lyricist whose works were in Tamil, had a five-decade long association with the Tamil film industry, wrote over 15,000 songs. He acted in a number of films, including Sathya, Hey Ram, Paarthale Paravasam and Poikkal Kudhirai. He was honoured by the Government of India with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour in 2007.
Vaali was born as T. S. Rangarajan on 29 October 1931 to Srinivasan Iyengar and Poonammal Iyengar. His native place is Thirupparaithurai, Tiruchirappalli district. He went to Madras in the 1950 seeking an opportunity in Tamil film industry. In the 1960s and 1970s, he received patronage from actor M. G. Ramachandran and became a successful lyricist, in competition with poet Kannadasan, which he had chronicled in his autobiography Naanum Indha Nootrandum. Vaali has also authored other books such as Avathara Purushan, Pandavar Bhoomi, Ramanuja Kaviyam, Krishna Vijayam, Thamizh Kadavul, Kalaignar Kaviyam, Krishna Bhakthan and Vaaliba vaali. His song “Amma Endru Azhaikatha Uyir Illaiye” is carved in the stone in a temple in Trichy. He wrote songs for M. G. Ramachandran in 63 films and also for Sivaji Ganesan in 70 films. He has written more than 15000 songs in Tamil films.
He died on 18 July 2013 in Chennai following respiratory illness, at the age of 82.
- Civilian honours
- Padmashri in 2007
Vaali is a five-time winner of the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Lyricist
- 1970 – Engal Thangamm
- 1979 – Ivargal Vidhyasamanavargal
- 1989 – Varusham Padhinaaru and Apoorva Sagodharargal
- 1990 – Keladi Kanmani
- 2008 – Dasavathaaram