M. S. Viswanathan (born June 24, 1928) (or M.S.V.), is a popular south Indian music director for five decades. He is popularly known as “Mellisai Mannar” (Tamil, for “The King of Light Music”). His major works are in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films. He has also acted and sung in a few films.
Despite his Keralite background, he established a prolific film music composing career in the Tamil film industry. His first score was for the film Panam (1952). He dominated film music composing in the South Indian film industry during the 1960s and 1970s and has composed scores for over 1000 films. His achievements range from introducing fresher melodies, style and orchestration approaches to incorporating various genres of what is now called world music into Indian cinema music. He has sung over 500 of his own songs, as well as those of other music directors like V. Kumar, Shankar Ganesh, Ilayaraaja, Gangai Amaran, Deva and A. R. Rahman. He has also scored music for many non-film albums and for political campaigns. His achievements include appearances in numerous films and television series.