R. D. Burman is the short form of Rahul Dev Burman. He was a famous Indian music composer with the nickname of Pancham. 331 movies were released with his music and among them 292 were in Hindi. He had also composed for the songs of other languages like Bangla, Telugu, Tamil, Oriya and Marathi. He composed for 5 TV serials.
He was born on 27th June 1939 in Calcutta, West Bengal. His father was Sachin Dev Burman. He studied at Ballygunge Government High School at Kolkata. He learnt sarod from Ustad Ali Akbar Khan in Mumbai. He composed his first song Aye Meri Topi Palat Ke Aa when he was nine years old and this was used in the film Funtooshi in 1956. His first film as a music director was Raaz in 1959.
He worked with his father in the movies Bandini, Teen Deviyaan, and Guide. His first hit movie was Teesri Manzil in 1966. In 1970s he turned out to be the most popular composer notable for his hippy tunes. Together with Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar he was able to give biggest hits in the film history. He was very successful in 1980s. However his last years in 1990s were not very pleasant. Some of his films for which he composed music at that time turned out to be box office failures.
He was comfortable with all types of music whether it was romantic music or classical tune. He acted in one Bengali film Gayak. He has also released some separate albums including Pantera. He derived inspirations from the popular western songs. The traditional Cyprus song Say You Love Me inspired him to compose the hit song Mehbooba Mehbooba.
He received Filmfare Best Music Director Award three times for the films Sanam Teri Kasam in 1983, Masoom in 1984, and 1942: A Love Story in 1995. He was nominated for the award 12 times. He married Rita Patel in 1966 and divorced her in 1971. He married Asha Bhonsle in 1980. He had to face financial difficulties in the later years of his life. He died on 4th January 1994 at the age of 54.