A.R. Rahman is the most famous and popular singers in Bollywood. He was born as A. S. Dileep Kumar in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India on January 6, 1966. He is a critically acclaimed award-winning record producer, composer and musician. A.R. Rahman is regarded as one of the best Indian film composers and his career is a turning point in the Indian film music history.
He is also credited to revolutionize film music composition standards in India. He also made popular Indian film music worldwide with albums like Roja and Dil Se. These have received positive reviews and today this ace music director has a huge fan following even in the US. By 2003, A.R. Rahman had sold more than one hundred million records of film scores and soundtracks in the world. He has also sold over 200 million cassettes which made him one of the 25 all-time top selling recording artists in the world.
His father was R. K. Shekhar who was an arranger, composer and conductor of Malayalam language films. When he was nine years old his father died and as a source of income, the family rented out musical equipments.
In the early years A.R. Rahman worked as a keyboard player. He worked as an arranger in bands like "Roots" and "Nemesis Avenue" with friends like Sivamani and embraced various music genres. He played the keyboard, piano, the harmonium, the synthesizer and the guitar with ease. He was particularly in love with the synthesizer and began training in music from Master Dhanraj.
He joined as a keyboardist in the troupe of Ilaiyaraaja at 11 years of age. A.R. Rahman played in the orchestra of Ramesh Naidu and M. S. Viswanathan. He also accompanied Zakir Hussain, L. Shankar and Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan on their world tours. He later achieved a scholarship to Trinity College of Music in London from where he graduated in Western classical music.
A.R. Rahman started his own mixing studio and music recording in 1991. This studio was at the backyard of his home which was named as the Panchathan Record Inn. He first composed music jingles for music scores in documentaries, Indian Television channels and advertisements.
A turning point came in his career when film director Mani Ratnam asked him to compose the soundtrack and score for his Tamil film Roja. A.R. Rahman`s debut made him the winner of the Rajat Kamal Award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards. This was also the first time that a film composer has won this prestigious award.
A.R. Rahman earned this award again three times for Lagaan (Tax, Hindi) in 2002, Minsaara Kanavu (Electric Dreams, Tamil) in 1997 and Kannathil Muthamittal (A Kiss on the Eyes, Tamil) in 2003). In 2000 he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri award by the nation. He was also awarded the Laurence Olivier Awards (UK) in 2003 and Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Canada) in 2006.
Know more about this versatile and immensely talented Indian music composer who has changed the way we know Indian film music.
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