Ananthaswamy, who had been battling alcoholism for years developed kidney complications on Thursday night and was admitted to Sagar Apollo Hospital, his condition deteriorated rapidly and his death was attributed to kidney failure. He is survived by his mother Shanta Ananthaswamy and two sisters. Raju Ananthaswamy displayed great musical aptitude from a young age and began playing tabla in his father’s troupe. In addition to tabla, he could play a variety of other musical instruments including the guitar, mandolin and keyboard.
His 'Krishna Yenabaarade', 'Madhava', 'Beladingala Raathrili', 'Tunge Dadadalli' are regarded as seminal contributions to kannada light music. Ananthaswamy’s death has come as a massive shock to Kannada film and music fraternity.
“Raju Ananthaswamy has left behind a pool of great music compositions. His genius was not fully exploited,” said C Ashwath, veteran music director.
Acclaimed film director Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar expressed deep sadness at his demise and said, “Raju was a very good friend and a great person. Raju’s uncontrollable alcoholism and tragedy is a lesson for youngsters. He will be remembered for his creativity and sense of humour”. Raju’s biggest film music success, the memorable 'Yaava Mohana Murali Kareyithu' came in Chandrashekar's film America America. Incidentally, he was originally cast in a comic role in Chandrashekhar’s forthcoming film Olave Jeevana Lekkachara but Raju’s poor health didn’t allow him to fulfil his commitments.
Playback singer Manjula Gururaj expressing shock said “Raju was highly talented and losing him at such an early age is a great loss.”
She remembered an incident during a recording session with his father and said “Mysore Ananthaswamy, himself was astounded by Raju’s talent and the way in which he conducted the orchestra. At that time he felt that his son will go on to achieve more than him, but sadly it was not meant to be.”