Legendary Telugu film lyricist Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry passed away on Tuesday, November 30, due to lung cancer-related complications. He was 66. He was being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) Hospital in Secunderabad after being admitted with pneumonia earlier on November 24. Seetharama Sastry was put under close observation after being placed on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) treatment to support his lungs, the hospital said in a statement, announcing his demise. 

Born in Anakapalle, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, in 1955, Chembolu Seetharama Sastry, was given the pen name 'Sirivennela' after writing songs for the 1986 film Srivennela. He has penned lyrics for over 3,000 songs in his glorious career that spanned three and a half decades. Srivennela directed by K Viswanath had many memorable songs among which 'Vidhata Thalapuna' and 'Adibhikshuvu Vadinedi Koredhi' went on to become huge hits. Some other successful collaborations between Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry and K Viswanath include films like Swayamkrushi, Swarnakamalam, Swati Kiranam, Rudra Veena to name a notable few. He is also known for his songs in films like Shiva, Kshana Kshanam, Gulabi, Ninne Pelladata in the 90s and more recently in Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana, Gamyam, Kanche, and Sammohanam. Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry had also written 'Samajavaragamana' in Allu Arjun's Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and the 'Dosti' song in the upcoming RRR directed by SS Rajamouli and starring Ram Charan and Jr. NTR in the lead roles. 

Among the honors Seetharama Sastry has felicitated over the years, he was awarded the Padma Shri for his contributions in the field of arts and aesthetics, including 11 state Nandi Awards. The news of the iconic lyricist's death has come as a massive shock to many in the Telugu film industry and around the country, with celebrities and fans paying their tributes on social media.