Jayalalithaa said that MSV, as Viswanathan was fondly addressed, was hailed as the 'King of Melody' and remained a legend in Tamil cinema. She expressed grief over his demise, recalling that he was a loving, humble, affable and spiritual person, whose musical journey had started at the age of 13.

Viswanathan had composed music for over 1,200 films, 700 of them in association with his former partner T K Ramamurthy, besides crooning many numbers. "Above all, he had composed the tune for 'Neeradum Kadaludutha' (the Tamil salutation song played in all government functions), and his songs are etched in the hearts of Tamil people," she said, adding he was at ease playing the piano, harmonium and keyboard.

The Chief Minister, a yesteryear actor, recalled she had sung songs, including the hit 'O meri dilruba' in the Tamil film 'Suriyagandhi' besides others for which he had set the tunes.

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