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A.R. Rahman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (2) | Trivia (7) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 6 January 1966Madras, Tamil Nadu, India (now Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)
Birth NameA.S. Dileep Kumar
Nicknames The Mozart of Madras
Isai Puyal
AR

Mini Bio (2)

Allah Rakha Rahman was born A.S. Dileep Kumar on January 6, 1966, in Madras (now Chennai), India, to a musically affluent family. Dileep started learning the piano at the age of 4, and at the age of 9, his father passed away. Since the pressure of supporting his family fell on him, he joined Ilayaraja's troupe as a keyboard player at the age of 11. He dropped out of school as a result of this and traveled all around the world with various orchestras.

He accompanied the great tabla maestro Zakir Hussain on a few world tours and also won a scholarship at the Trinity College of Music at Oxford University, where he studied Western classical music and obtained a degree in music. Due to some personal crisis, Dileep Kumar embraced Islam and came to be known as A.R. Rahman. In 1987, he moved to advertising, where he composed more than 300 jingles over 5 years. In 1989, he started a small studio called Panchathan Record Inn, which later developed into one of the most well-equipped and advanced sound recording studios in India.

At an advertising awards function, Rahman met one of India's most famous directors, Mani Ratnam. Rahman played him a few of his music samples. Mani loved them so much that he asked Rahman to compose the music for his next film, Roja (1992). The rest, as they say, is history. He went on to compose several great hits for Tamil-language films before composing the score and songs for his first Hindi-language film, Bollywood Dreams (1995). The enormous success of his first Hindi venture was followed by the chart-topping soundtrack albums of films such as Bombay (1995) , Dil Se.. (1998), Taal (1999), Zubeidaa (2001), and Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001), which was nominated for best foreign-language film at the 2002 Academy Awards.

More recently, he worked with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Shekhar Kapur (director of Elizabeth (1998)) on a musical called "Bombay Dreams." At 36 years old, A.R. Rahman has revolutionized Indian film music and one can only expect this musical genius to reach greater heights.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Subhash

A two-time winner and five-times nominee of the Academy Award (Oscar), A. R. Rahman is popularly known as the man who has redefined contemporary Indian music. Rahman, according to a BBC estimate, has sold more than 150 million copies of his work comprising of music from more than 100 film soundtracks and albums across over half a dozen languages, including landmark scores such as 'Roja', 'Bombay', Dil Se', 'Taal', 'Lagaan', 'Vandemataram' and more recently, 'Jodhaa Akbar', 'Slumdog Millionaire', '127 Hours' and 'Rockstar'.

Rahman pursued music as a career at a very young age and after assisting leading musicians in India went on to compose jingles and scores for popular Indian television features. He also obtained a degree in western classical music from the Trinity College of Music, London and set up his own in-house studio called Panchathan Record-Inn at Chennai. In 1991, noted film maker Mani Ratnam offered Rahman a movie called 'Roja' which was a run-away success and brought nationwide fame and acclaim to the composer. The movie also won Rahman the Indian National Award for the best music composer, the first time ever by a debutant. Since then, Rahman has gone on to win the National Award 3 more times, the most ever by any music composer.

In 1997, to commemorate 50 years of Indian Independence, Sony Music signed up Rahman as its first artiste in South Asia. The result was 'Vande Mataram', an album that instantly made Indians relate to it and succeeded in rekindling the spirit of patriotism. In 2001, Andrew Lloyd Webber, the well known composer of musicals like 'Phantom of the Opera' & 'Jesus Christ Superstar' invited Rahman to compose for his musical, 'Bombay Dreams', the first time he would produce a musical he did not compose for. 'Bombay Dreams' opened to packed houses at London's West End and had an unprecedented run for 2 years and later premiered at New York's Broadway. In 2005, Rahman composed the score for the stage production of 'The Lord of the Rings', one of the most expensive productions mounted on stage.

Rahman has undertaken several sellout concert tours in over 50 international destinations including one at the prestigious Hollywood Bowl in 2006 and the Royal Festival Hall in 2010. Recently, Time magazine rated the soundtrack of 'Roja' in the Top 10 of their all time best movie soundtracks of the world; The Guardian, UK, listed the soundtrack of 'Bombay' in '1000 albums to listen before you die'.

Rahman's music led him to be noticed internationally with several of his tracks featuring in movies such as 'The Lord of War', 'Inside Man', 'Planes' and 'The Accidental Husband'. His composition, Bombay Theme holds the distinction of being featured in over 50 international compilations. He also scored the music for the Hollywood productions, 'Elizabeth - The Golden Age', 'Slumdog Millionaire', 'Couples Retreat', '127 Hours', 'People Like Us' and the Chinese movie, 'Warriors of Heaven & Earth' produced by Sony Pictures.

In 2008, Rahman's work gained global prominence with the extraordinary success of his score for 'Slumdog Millionaire' that won 8 Academy Awards including two for Rahman, for Best Score and Best Song. Rahman won over 15 awards for this score including two Grammys, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA. In 2011, Rahman was nominated again for his work in '127 Hours' at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA and won for Best Song at the Critics Choice Awards.

Rahman has been bestowed with the 'Padma Bhushan' and 'Padma Shri', two of India's highest national civilian honours, recognizing his contribution to music, in addition to several other awards including 4 Indian National Film Awards and 28 Filmfare Awards, India's leading recognition for films. He has also been conferred with honorary doctorates from the Trinity College of Music, Aligarh Muslim University, Anna University and the Middlesex University. He was also named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, in 2009.

In 2011, Rahman joined a super band, SuperHeavy, comprising Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley and Dave Stewart. Rahman has collaborated with several other international artistes including Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton, MIA, Vanessa Mae, the Pussycat Dolls, Sarah Brightman, Dido, Hossam Ramzy, Hans Zimmer and Akon. Rahman remains one of the few mainstream artistes, classical adaptations of whose works have been performed live by the likes of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Babelsberg Film Orchestra and the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Rahman has expanded his focus to newer horizons like setting up the A R Rahman Foundation to help poor and underprivileged children. He released his first English single, 'Pray For Me Brother' in 2007, with proceeds from the sales going to the foundation. He also serves as the UN Ambassador for the 2015 Millenium Development Goals. Rahman has also announced initiatives to establish a tradition in western classical music in India and recently embarked on an ambitious venture to set up the KM Music Conservatory and the KM Music Symphony Orchestra based out of Chennai, India. He plans to provide a platform for non-mainstream music through his music label KM Musiq and recently launched Rashid Ali and a documentary on Ustad Bismillah Khan.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A. R. Rahman's management

Trivia (7)

Studied Western classical music as a student at Oxford University in the UK.
He was nominated for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award (The Hilton Award) for Best New Musical of 2002, "Bombay Dreams", performed at the Apollo Theatre, West End, London, and on Broadway in New York City.
On August 15, 1997, he released an album called "Vande Mataram," on Columbia/SME Records, to commemorate 50 years of Indian independence. A tribute to the motherland, it featured songs for each of the Indian flag colors. The album was released simultaneously across the world in 28 countries, and Rahman himself performed in New Delhi to a packed audience including the honorable Indian Prime Minister. Over 1.2 million copies were sold in India alone.
Also known as the John Williams of the Indian Film Industry.
Collaborated on The Lord of The Rings' Stage Musical original score with Finnish folk music group Varttina and Christopher Nightingale.
A.R.Rahman got the 2500th Filmfare Trophy at the 57th Filmfare Awards, 2011. It was a diamond studded trophy designed by PC Jewellers.
The Broadway debut of Bombay Dreams will take place on March 28, 2004 at the Broadway Theatre in New York City. [March 2004]

Personal Quotes (7)

I have rubbed many a producer the wrong way by disturbing the schedule, but it has paid off.
I wasn't too happy with the I-don't-want-to-listen-to-it attitude of our youngsters towards film music. Why can't we get our guys to listen to our own music rather than to Michael Jackson? I didn't want us to lose the market to the West. The music had to be cool and rooted, and yet had to branch out. It was like the wild imagination of a child... but it worked... it did travel beyond Madras and attract people.
About his belief in Sufism: "I'm a deeply spiritual person. Sufism is about love - love for a fellow human, love for all round humanity, and ultimately love for God. For me, it's where music and religion meet - at dargahs, you will find qawwalis. That's my inspiration."
About his song Vande Mataram: "It had to be unlike the one played on the radio for years. I wanted a sound that would connect me with people and capture a collective energy."
I hate the word [Bollywood]. I think it's derivative and it doesn't represent the entire film community in India. There's the eastern film industry, four industries in the south - they all make extraordinary films. It's like saying the whole of the West is Hollywood.
[on winning the 57th Filmfare Awards for Best Music] I want to thank Imtiaz, and all the singers of Rockstar, and everyone who has worked on the music along with me.
[on film star and activist Aamir Khan] In a world of false diplomacy and evasiveness, Aamir is a straightforward man. A man of his word. His movies are commercial successes, but they also display a sense of social responsibility: they tackle important themes like poverty and education. He uses his gifts as a charmer to give his audience the most bitter medicine. Hypnotized, we take it without complaint. That's Amir's magic at work.

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