AR Rahman - Did you know?

Rahman has now become a household name with the success of Slumdog Millionaire. Here are 15 things you may not have known about this Musical Maestro...

AR Rahman, the name has always been recognised with soul-stirring music that strikes a chord with the heart of the listener. However  with the Slumdog, he has become an household name. AR Rehman  has won awards at both, the Oscars and Golden Globe. Upon receiving these awards, AR Rehman has not only created an identity in the outer world but also created an image from India & its culture.

But here are some things you may not know about the musical maestro...

1. Rahman was born a hindu. His name was A.S. Dilip Kumar. He converted to a Muslim after a Sufi saint helped him and his family in times of difficulty.

2. Rahman has few very popular nick-names. They are "The Mozart of Madras" and "Isai Puyal" which means Musical Maestro in tamil. He is also known as the "John Williams" of Indian Film Industry.

3. Rahman used to compose ad jingles before he started composing for music. Some of his jingles were for brands like Garden sarees, MRF tyres and Titan.

4. Rahman has launched several singers like Hariharan and Shankar Mahadevan and collaborates with close friends, Blaaze and Shivamani often.

5. His first movie was Roja, directed by Mani Ratnam in 1992. After which, he has given the music for all of Mani Ratnam's film.

6. His first soundtrack Roja is listed in Times "Top 10 Movie Soundtracks of all time"

7.  He has won national awards several times for his music and is the only music director to win an award as a dubutant for Roja.

8. His first movie in hindi was Rangeela in 1995. The Tamil Nadu distributor of Rangeela did away with the actors name altogether from the posters and replaced them with a mugshot of Rahman with the catchline The first original score of A.R.Rahman in Hindi.

9. He studied western classical musical in Trinity College of Music, London, UK

10. He has collaborated on The Lord of The Rings' Stage Musical original score with Finnish folk music group Varttina and Christopher Nightingale  

11. 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 Prime Minister of India. Over 1.2 million copies were sold in India alone.  

12. 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.  

13. 65-70% of Rahman's tunes have not seen the light of day.

14. Rahman is one of the few Asians to make it to the list of world's top 25 all-time top selling recording artists.

15. He is also one of the few people not to give the rights of his music to the director. He keeps them himself.

Congratulations Rahman on your success. And we look forward to hearing more of your wonderful music for years to come!

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Dilip Kumar Thumbnail

Dilip Kumar

Shankar Mahadevan Thumbnail

Shankar Mahadevan

Mani Ratnam Thumbnail

Mani Ratnam

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