Kannadasan (24 June 1927 – 17 October 1981) was an Indian poet and lyricist, heralded as one of the greatest and most important lyricists in India. Frequently called Kaviarasu or Kavirajar (King of Poets), Kannadasan was most familiar for his song lyrics in Tamil films and contributed around 5000 film lyrics apart from 6000 poems and 232 books, including novels, epics, plays, essays, his most popular being the 10-part religious essay on Hinduism, Artthamulla Indhumatham (Meaningful Hindu Religion). He won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Cheraman Kadali in the year 1980 and was the first to receive the National Film Award for Best Lyrics, given in 1969 for the film Kuzhanthaikkaga.
Kannadasan's greatest contribution to Tamil culture is his songwriting. Before Kannadasan, many lyricsists like Papanasam Sivan, Kambadasan, Vindhan, A. Maruthakasi, and Ku. Ma. Balasubramaniam were sought after in the Tamil music industry, but after the advent of Kannadasan, the scene changed. He quickly became the most sought after lyricist in the industry and remained so until his death. Kannadasan was so popular that few songs written by other contemporary poets were considered to be written by Kannadhasan Though, after his death, film lyrics have come a long way, many people still consider Kannadasan to be the best songwriter. He is considered to be the greatest modern Tamil poet after Subramanya Bharathi.
He was the producer of the historic Tamil film Sivagangai Seemai portraying the pioneers of the Indian freedom struggle "Marudhu Pandaiars". The song "Santhupottu" from that film remains popular.