In what has come as a big shock to Telugu cinema fans, reputed lyricist and dialogue writer Vennelakanti Rajeswara Prasad passed away due to cardiac arrest on Tuesday at his Chennai residence. He was 63. Vennelakanti wrote more than 2,000 songs in his illustrious career and has also been awarded with the Andhra Pradesh State Nandi Award for Best Lyricist in 2000. He is survived by his wife and two sons. Shashank Vennelakanti, his eldest son, has also carved a niche for himself as a lyricist in the Telugu film industry over the years. 

Having penned dialogues in several films as well over the years, many notable South Indian celebrities have expressed their shock upon hearing the news of his demise. Popular Tamil singer Chinmayi Sirpaada took to her Twitter page to express her grief at Vennelakanti passing away. She wrote, "Heartbreaking that Sri Vennelakanti garu has passed on. A legendary writer that’ll be sorely missed." Likewise, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy director Surender Reddy paid his tributes saying, "Extremely saddened by the demise of writer #Vennelakanti Garu. My sincere condolences to the family." 

Hailing from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, Vennelakanti made his debut with the Telugu film, Andala Rakshasi, by writing lyrics for two songs, including contributing on the vocal front for one. Some of his most notable songs are 'Maatarani Mounamidi' from the Mahesh Babu's Maharshi, 'China damme' in Simhadri, 'Hrudayam Ekkadunnadhi' from Ghajini, and 'Konda Konallo' from Swati Kiranam. Vennelakanti had also collaborated with veteran Tamil actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan in his films namely Panchathanthiram, Mumbai Express and Dasavatharam and penned the dialogues for the dubbed Telugu versions. His final rites will be taking place in Chennai on Wednesday.