Chinna Chinna Asai singer Minmini reveals Ilaiyaraaja stopped working with her after she sang for AR Rahman

The voice behind the iconic song Chinna Chinna Aasai, Minmini, recently revealed that Ilaiyaraaja stopped giving her songs after she worked with AR Rahman for Mani Ratnam’s Roja.

Updated on Jun 23, 2023  |  06:48 PM IST |  598.2K
PC: Ilaiyaraaja Twitter & IMDb
Chinna Chinna Asai singer Minmini reveals Ilaiyaraaja stopped working with her after she sang for AR Rahman (PC: Ilaiyaraaja Twitter & IMDb)
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Chinna Chinna Aasai—this one song is enough for people to remember Minmini. The singer is remembered fondly even to this day for singing the iconic heroine introduction song from Roja. But the actress had to pay a price for it.

After she sang Chinna Chinna Aasai for the then debutant music director A R Rahman, she did not get any more songs from another iconic music director. And this music director was none other than the maestro Ilaiyaraaja

Ilaiyaraaja's reaction on Minmini working with AR Rahman

Recently, in a Malayalam show, Minmini revealed that she was lucky to work with almost all the music directors at the time when she sang. The singer was active for just a very short period, from 1991 to 1994, and after she got her big break with Chinna Chinna Aasai from Roja, one would expect that she would be at her busiest. But Minmini clarified this misconception and said, in sharp contrast to the popular perception, she sang fewer songs after Chinna Chinna Aasai.

When revealing this, Minmini stated that she hasn't revealed this before but is only saying this because she was asked about it. Back then, Minmini shared that she always got to sing an Ilaiyaraaja song every day. But when he got to know that she had sung Chinna Chinna Aasai, he told her why she was singing elsewhere and that she should only sing for him. 

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Minmini revealed that she was utterly shocked to hear this and started crying. And as this incident occurred in a recording studio and as the mic was on, everyone present heard her cry. Singer Mano, who was in the studio, tried to console her.

After this, he hadn't called her to sing any songs. Also, the reason she did not reveal it for all these years was that she did not want anyone to think negatively about the legendary musician, Minmini shared. 

Losing her voice and singing for Rahman

At the peak of her career, Minmini had to stop singing altogether when she lost her voice. But luckily, the singer regained her voice and made a comeback to singing in movies in 2015. She revealed that when she was ill, she would cancel all the recordings for which she was called, as she was worried about doing a bad job. 

AR Rahman was the only one who refused to cancel the recording. This is how she sang Pacha Kili Paadum from Bharathiraja’s Karuthamma. She also revealed that she hadn’t sung that song. But in turn, she said every word in the tune of the song, and that was recorded. The whole song was taken this way, she shared. 

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An ardent consumer of cinema across languages, Roopa is passionate about storytelling. She is a postgraduate in mass communication

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Credits: Amritha TV
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