A. R. Rahman, The Mozart of Madras, made Indians proud by winning two Oscars for his music in Hollywood movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. He is an Indian musician, singer, composer and music producer predominantly working in Hindi and Tamil movies. For his music in Slumdog Millionaire he also earned Golden Globe, Grammy, BAFTA and Academy Awards. For his extensive body of work for stage and films, his integration of assorted music styles in his compositions and a stylistic range as a music composer he was awarded Padma Bhushan in the year 2010. AR Rahman is a well-known philanthropist and humanitarian who donates for numerous social causes and charities.
|Nick Name||The Mozart of Madras|
|Date of Birth||06-Jan-67|
|Place of Birth||Chennai, Tamil Nadu|
|Profession||Songwriter, Music composer, Singer, Music director, Recod producer, Arranger, Conductor|
|Mother||Kareema Begaun earlier Kasturi Shekhar|
|Education||Graduated with a diploma in Western Classical Music|
|Net Worth||Rs. 163 crores|
Family – Rahman is the son of late R.K Shekhar who was a prominent Tamil musician. Rahman mother is Kareena Begum earlier known as Kasturi Shekhar. His wife name is Saira Banu. His marriage was an arranged matrimonial alliance. The couple are parents of two beautiful daughters Rahima and Khatija and a son Ameen.
Early Life – A.R Rahman was born on 6 January 1967 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. AR Rahman’s original name is A.S Dileep Kumar. He converted from Hinduism to Islam following his sisters recovery from serious illness and named himself Allahrakka Rahman in 1989.
He did his early schooling from Padma Seshadri Bal Bhavan, Chennai. Rahman graduated from Madras Christian College. He received a scholarship from Trinity College of Music, Oxford University, United Kingdom from where he received a degree in western classical.
Rahman started playing the piano at the tender age of 4. He was just nine years old when his father passed away. The responsibility to support the family came over his shoulder. To help the family by age 11, he started playing the piano professionally and worked with renowned people like Raj Koti and Illaya Raja. Although he was interested in computers and electronics and wanted to become a computer engineer, the hardship of life made him follow his father’s track and received his music training under the master ‘Dhanraj’.
Career – Rahman started his career with the band ‘Roots’ (1984-88). Besides being a band member, he also played the piano for about 10 to 12 Kannada movies. Later on, he joined a band named ‘Nemesis Avenue.’ For the band, he worked as a producer and arranger and used to perform live concerts. In 1987 he began composing ad jingles. For the next five years, he composed around 300 ads while working on his album ‘colours’ with famous personalities like Zakir Hussain, Shankar, and Sivamani. In 1991, he received award for his work on a coffee advertisement. In the award ceremony, he met Mani Ratnam (A successful Bollywood movie director). Mani Ratnam was highly impressed with Rahman’s work, and gave him a breakthrough in his film ‘Roja'(1992). The song track of Roja was a big hit, and he became a household name throughout India. In 2004, Rahman was placed among the world’s all-time top-selling record artist. To further polish his musical skills he got his training in classical Hindustani, Qawwali, Carnatic and Western Classical Music under masters named N.Gopalakrishnan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Dakshinamurthy, Krishnan Nair, Jacob John and Nithyanandham.
In 1997 he composed an album ‘Vande Mataram’ in collaboration with Sony Music to celebrate 15 years of Indian independence. The album was a big hit. Meanwhile, Rahman branched out from Tamil to Hindi and then to English movies. In the year 2007, he composed music for the biographical drama ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’ along with Craig Armstrong. In the year 2008, he composed the song ‘Jai Ho’ for the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and won the Oscar.
Besides his contribution to the music industry A.R. Rahman is a global ambassador of WHO’s “Stop TB Partnership.’ He promotes ‘ Save India Child’ campaign in India. He is the brand ambassador of Sikkim. Because of his contributions to Seychelles culture and art development he is appointed cultural ambassador of Seychelles.
In 2017 A.R Rahman made directorial debut with ‘Le musk'(Indian virtual reality film) starring Guy Burnet, Munirah Grace, Mariam Zohrabyan and Nora Arnzender.
In 2018 an incredible short show was aired on Amazon Prime video “Harmony with A.R Rahman.” The show featured musician from Kerala, Sikkim, Maharashtra and Manipur. The series focused on exploring the roots and depth of Indian musical heritage.
Filmfare Award, Best music director film for the movie:
Minsara Kanavuin, 1996
Kannathil Muthamittal, 2002
Kaatru Veliyidai, 2017
Best original song and best original score for the song ‘Jai Ho’ from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ in 2019
Best Film Music for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ in 2009.
Best Song Written and Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for the song ‘Jai Ho’ from the movie Slumdog Millionaire in 2009
- Kalaimamani 1995 Government of Tamil Nadu
- Padma Shri in 2000 by Government of India
- Awadh Samman in 2001 by Government of Uttar Pradesh
- National Lata Mangeshkar award in 2004 by Government of Madhya Pradesh
- Padma Bhushan in 2010 Government of India
Controversies – The only controversy Rahman got involved was when he composed music for or the biopic of Prophet Muhammad, ‘Muhammad: The Messenger of God.’
Other Facts About A.R. Rahman
- The net worth of Rahman is Rs.163 crores.
- Rahman gets around Rs.5 to 8 crore per movie.
- In 1989 he established his studio ” The Panchathan Record Inn & AM Studios” in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- He is the founder of KM College of Music and Technology in Chennai. The college was inaugurated in the year 2018 by Mukesh Ambani.
- Rahman and his son’s birthday falls on the same date.
- In Markham, Ontario, Canada, a street is named after him as a tribute.
- Barack Obama, the former President of the United States in 2012 at White House, invited A.R. Rahman to dinner and sent him a Christmas card.
- In an interview, Rahman revealed that he contemplated suicide every day till age 25. Besides he told that he hated his original name, Dileep Kumar.
- Along with Shekhar Kapoor, he started a social media platform “Qyuki” with the idea that writers can exchange their thoughts on it.
- Raman composes music at night and avoids picking up calls while working.
- The soundtrack of the film ‘Roja’ was listed among the ‘Times 10 best soundtrack’ of all time in 2005.
- Rahman prefers composing music for the romantic genre.
- Umesh Aggarwal directed a 90 minutes long documentary ‘Jai Ho’ based on A.R.Rahman’s life.
- Over 120 movie scores are to his name.
- Rahman was awarded the Doctorate in Media Sciences by Anna University in 2009
- For his extraordinary contribution to art, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music on 24 th October 2014.
The Limca Book of Records for their 2007 edition honoured him in the ‘People Of The Year’ category.