India | Tamil Nadu

A. R. Rahman

Popular music composer

One of the most popular Bollywood music composers, A.R. Rahman was born in a family of musicians on 6th January, 1966 in Chennai. His father, K.A. Sekhar was a famous music director in South India movies. Originally named A.S. Dilip Kumar, he changed his name to A.R. Rahman when he converted to Islam. His spiritual master, a Sufi saint, named him Rahman. From his childhood, Rahman had a passion for music. He started learning piano at the age of four. He joined musical troupes of Illayaraja, M.S. Vishwanathan, Ramesh Naidu, Zakir Hussain and Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan. He secured a scholarship at London's Trinity Music College and composed music for advertisement campaigns of brands such as Parry's, Leo Coffee, Boost, Titan, Premier Pressure Cooker, Asian Paints etc. 'Roja' a bilingual movie - made in Hindi and Tamil - made Rahman a household name. He was conferred the National Award for Best Music Director for the music he composed for 'Roja'. Following the success of the film, there was no looking back for Rahman. ‘Rangeela’, ‘Bombay’ and 'Lagan' are some of his popular movies. ‘Vande Mataram’, a patriotic album based on the Indian National Song, Vande Mataram, is one of his most popular albums. Rahman has also worked with internationally known performers such as Apache Indian, David Byrne, Michael Jackson and with Andrew Webber Lloyd for his album 'Bombay Dreams'. Government of India has awarded him Padmashree for his contribution in the field of music.

Updated on 18th July, 2005


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