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A.R.Rahman
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General Profile of A.R.Rahman  -   Music Director

The 90's saw a new music genius, A.R.Rahman graduated to film music from composing music for advertisements. His first film Roja made him a national sensation and he won the Country's best music director award. He uses all the modern equipment's and facilities to compose his tunes.Every year he composes music only for a handful of movies . He silenced his critics who criticised his slow speed by producing quality music. He carefully selects his movies and directors , He has worked with all the major directors like Maniratnam (Roja, Thiruda Thiruda, Bombay, Iruvar, Vuirye(yet to be released)), Shankar (Gentleman, Kathalan, Indian), Balachandar (Duet), Barathiraaja(Kizhaku cheemaile, Karuthamma) In Hindi he has worked with Ram Gopal Varma (Rangeela, Daud), He has scored music for Telugu movies also (Gang Master, Super Police). Recently he released a music album Vanthe Matharam(Sony Music) to commemorate India's Fiftieth Year of Independence

A R Rahman is the undisputed king of Indian music. A shy guy from Chennai with long curly hair, he took the music scene by storm in 1992, and hasn't looked back ever since.

Rahman brought a new sound to film music, fusing folk, rustic melody with foot-tapping music. And the Rahman cliché has had fans swooning, from Roja, Rangeela, Bombay, Dil Se and Kandukondain kandukondain to Alai payuthey, Zubeida, Meenaxi and Yuva.

Trying times

Hailed as a musical genius, the prodigy had a tough childhood. He was born as Duleep Kumar on January 6, 1966 in Madras (now Chennai) to Kareema Begum and K A Sekar. He later embraced Islam and changed his name to Allah Rakha Rahman.

Rahman's father was an arranger and conductor of Malyalam film music, but he passed away when his son was barely nine-years-old. Despite this personal loss, Rahman held on to his music and at 11, began playing the keyboard for a well-known troupe.

He then went on to play with renowned artists like Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and Zakir Hussain. He also earned a scholarship to the coveted Trinity College Of Music, University of Oxford, where he studied Western Classical music.

At 16, he quit school and began working full-time as a session musician on soundtracks, under the popular south Indian composer, Illaiyaraja.

Rahman also set up a recording studio, where he experimented with his own kind of sound. He even tried his hand at television commercials, eventually composing over 300 jingles in just five years (including the famous one for Titan watches)!

His first break in movies came with Mani Ratnam's Roja. Roja became an instant hit, and the music director won a National Award for it.

On higher ground...

Rahman soon became a star to reckon with -- music albums would create record sales just on the Rahman tag. From 1992-97, he created music for many a blockbuster, including Pudhiya Mugam, Gentleman, Kizhaku Seemaiyilae, Duet, Kadalan, Bombay, Indian and others. His soundtrack for Bombay crossed the 5-million sales mark, and Rahman sold more than 40 million copies over a period of three years.

During 1997-2000, Rahman continued to ride high on the waves of success with soundtracks like Dil Se, Taal, Jeans, Thakshak, Sapnay, Dil hi dil mein, Kabhi na kabhi and Earth among others. If any of these albums failed, it was probably due to the failure of the movies at the box office rather than the music.

At this time, Rahman also teamed up with Bharat Bala to produce Vandemataram -- an album that paid tribute to India's 50th year of independence. The album featured Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in the vocals, and met with resounding success, selling over a million copies.

Turn of the millennium

By the new millennium, Rahman's popularity was at its peak. His new films also revealed a subtle shift in style, as he began experimenting with newer sounds. Rahman appeared keen to prove his versatility to his critics.

While Pukar, Lagaan, Saathiya, Zubeidaa and Meenaxi veered towards a very Indian folk-classical feel, Tehzeeb, Yuva and Lakeer featured a generous helping of trance and hip-hop.

Rahman also broke boundaries in 2000 by composing the music for Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Bombay Dreams.

And for Rahman fans, surely the best is still to come, as the music director gears up to hit the rock the charts with Subhash Ghai's Kisna, Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black and Ketan Mehta's Rising, amongst others. This maestro is clearly set to give us many more years of music and melody.

 
 
Awards & Titles

Honorary
 1995  -   Kalaimamani
              Contributions to music awarded by the Government of Tamil Nadu
1995   -   Mauritius National Award
              Contributions to music awarded by Mauritius
1995   -   Malaysian Award
              Contributions to music awarded by Malaysia
2000   -   Padma Shri
              Fourth highest civilian award awarded by Government of India
2004   -   National Lata Mangeshkar Award
              Contributions to music awarded by the Government of Madhya Pradesh
2005   -   Mahavir-Mahatma Award
2006   -   Swaralaya Yesudas Award
              Swaralaya-Kairali-Yesudas Award for outstanding performance in the
              music field
2006   -   Honorary Award from Stanford University
              Lifetime Achievement Award
2009   -   Honorary Doctorate from Anna University
2009   -   Honorary Doctorate from Aligarh University
2009   -   Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University
2010   -   Padma Bhushan
              Third highest civilian award awarded by Government of

National Film awards
1993   -   National Film Award for Best Music Direction - Roja
1997   -   National Film Award for Best Music Direction - Minsaara Kanavu
2002   -   National Film Award for Best Music Direction - Lagaan
2003   -   National Film Award for Best Music Direction - Kannathil Muthamittal

Filmfare Awards
1995   -   Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent
1996   -   Filmfare Best Music Director Award - Rangeela
1999   -   Filmfare Best Music Director Award - Dil Se
2000   -   Filmfare Best Music Director Award - Taal
2002   -   Filmfare Best Music Director Award - Lagaan
2003   -   Filmfare Best Music Director Award - Saathiya
2003   -   Filmfare Best Background Score - The Legend of Bhagat Singh
2005   -   Filmfare Best Background Score - Swades
2007   -   Filmfare Best Music Director Award - Rang de Basanti
2008   -   Filmfare Best Music Director Award - Guru
2008   -   Filmfare Best Background Score - Guru
2009   -   Filmfare Best Music Director Award - Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
2009   -   Filmfare Best Background Score - Jodhaa Akbar
2010   -   Filmfare Best Music Director Award - Delhi 6 India

Filmfare Awards South
1993   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Roja
1994   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Gentleman
1995   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Kadhalan
1996   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Bombay
1997   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Kadhal Desam
1998   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Minsaara Kanavu
1999   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Jeans
2000   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Mudhalvan
2001   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Alaipayuthey
2007   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Sillunu Oru Kadhal
2008   -   Best Music Direction (Tamil) - Sivaji: The Boss
 

Bollywood Movie Awards
2002   -   Best Music Direction - Lagaan
2003   -   Best Music Direction - Saathiya
 

Global Indian Film Awards (GIFA)
2007   -   GIFA Award for Best Music - Rang De Basanti
2007   -   GIFA Award for Best Background Music - Rang De Basanti
 

International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA)
2000   -   IIFA Best Music Direction - Taal
2002   -   IIFA Best Music Direction - Lagaan
2003   -   IIFA Best Music Direction - Saathiya
2007   -   IIFA Best Music Direction - Rang De Basanti
2008   -   IIFA Best Music Direction - Guru
2008   -   IIFA Best Background Music - Guru
2008   -   Outstanding contribution by an Indian in International Cinema
2009   -   IIFA Best Music Direction - Jodhaa Akbar
2009   -   IIFA Best Background Music - Jodhaa Akbar
2009   -   IIFA Music Director of the Decade

Sangeet Awards
2004   -   Best Music Direction (Critics Award) - Yuva
2004   -   Best Music Arrangement (Critics Award) - Yeh Rishta - Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities
 

Screen-Videocon Awards / Star Screen Awards
1998   -   Best Non-film Album - Vande Mataram (Non-film category)
2000   -   Best Music Direction - Taal
2007   -   Best Background Music- Rang De Basanti
2008   -   Best Music Direction - Guru
2008   -   Best Background Music - Guru
2009   -   Best Music Direction - Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na
2009   -   Best Background Music - Jodhaa Akbar
2010   -   Best Music Direction - Delhi-6

Tamil Nadu State Film Awards
1992   -   Best Music Direction - Roja
1993   -   Best Music Direction - Gentleman
1994   -   Best Music Direction - Kadhalan
1996   -   Best Music Direction - Minsaara Kanavu
1999   -   Best Music Direction - Sangamam

Zee Cine Awards
2000   -   Zee Cine Award Best Music Director - Taal
2002   -   Zee Cine Award Best Music Director - Lagaan
2003   -   Zee Cine Award Best Music Director - Saathiya
2007   -   Zee Cine Award Best Music Director - Rang De Basanti
2008   -   Zee Cine Award Best Music Director - Guru
2008   -   Zee Cine Award Best Background Music - Guru

Vijay Awards
2007   -   Vijay Award for Best Music Director - Sivaji
 

Other awards
Planet-Bollywood People's Choice Awards
2006   -   People's Choice Best Music Award - Rang De Basanti
2006   -   People's Choice Best Background Music Award - Rang De Basanti

Sunfeast Tamil Music Awards
2008   -   Best Music Composer of the Year - Sivaji: The Boss

Tata Indicom Mirchi Music Awards
2009   -   Music Director Of The Year - Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
2009   -   Technical Award For Film Background Score - Jodhaa Akbar
2009   -   Album Of The Year - Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
2009   -   Tata Indicom Mirchi Listeners Choice Song Of The Year - "Kabhi Kabhi Aditi" (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na)
2009   -   Tata Indicom Mirchi Listeners Choice Album Of The Year - Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

V. Shantaram Award
2007   -   Best Music - Guru
2008   -   Best Music - Jodhaa Akbar

International Film awards
Academy Awards (Oscars) (United States)
2009   -   Best Original Music Score - Slumdog Millionaire
2009   -   Best Original Song - "Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire - and Gulzar

Golden Globe Awards (United States)
2009   -   Best Original Score - Slumdog Millionaire

British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) (United Kingdom)
2009   -   Anthony Asquith Award for Best Film Music - Slumdog Millionaire

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (United States)
2008   -   Critics' Choice Award for Best Composer - Slumdog Millionaire

Black Reel Awards
2008   -   Best Original Soundtrack - Slumdog Millionaire

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards (United States)
2008   -   Best Music Score - Slumdog Millionaire

New York Film Critics Online Awards (United States)
2008   -   NYFCO Best Score Award - Slumdog Millionaire

Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards
2008   -   Best Original Score - Slumdog Millionaire

San Diego Film Critics Society Awards (United States)
2008   -   Best Score - Slumdog Millionaire

Satellite Awards (United States)
2008   -   Satellite Award for Best Original Score - Slumdog Millionaire

Other awards
Grammy Awards
2009   -   Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media - Slumdog Millionaire
2009   -   Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media - "Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire

Just Plain Folks Music Awards
2009   -   Just Plain Folks Music Award For Best Music Album - Varalaru

MTV Awards
MTV Video Music Awards
1999   -  International Viewer's Choice Awards (MTV India) - "Dil Se Re" - Dil Se

MTV Asia Awards
2003   -   MTV Asia Award for Favorite Artist India

MTV Immies
2003   -   Best Music Composer (Film Category) - "Saathiya" - Saathiya
              UK Asian Music Awards (United Kingdom)
2009   -   Outstanding Achievement by an Asian in music field
               World Soundtrack Awards
2009   -    Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film - "Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire

Nominations National
International Indian Film Academy Awards
2001   -   Best Music Direction - Fiza
2009   -   Best Music Direction - Ghajini

Filmfare Awards
2005   -   Best Music Direction - Swades
2008   -   Best Male Playback - Tere Bina from Guru
2009   -   Best Music Direction - Ghajini
2009   -   Best Music Direction - Jodhaa Akbar

Filmfare Awards South
2009   -   Filmfare Best Music Director Award (Tamil) - Sakkarakatti

Screen Weekly Awards
2002   -   Best Music Direction - Lagaan
2002   -   Best Background Score - Lagaan

Zee Cine Awards
2005   -   Best Music Direction - Swades
2005   -   Best Background Score - Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities

International
Academy Awards (Oscars) (United States)
2009   -   Best Original Song - "O Saya" - Slumdog Millionaire

Asian Film Awards (Hong Kong International Film Festival)
2009   -   Best Composer - Jodhaa Akbar

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
2008   -   Critics' Choice Award for Best Song - "Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire

Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Canada)
2006   -   General Theatre Division - Outstanding Musical Direction - The Lord of the Rings (along with Värttinä)

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
2008   -   CFCA Best Original Score - Slumdog Millionaire

Houston Film Critics Society Awards
2008   -   Runner-up: Best Original Score - Slumdog Millionaire
2008   -   Runner-up: Best Original Song - "Jai Ho" performed by Sukhwinder Singh, written by A. R. Rahman and Gulzar

Laurence Olivier Awards (United Kingdom)
2003   -   Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical - Bombay Dreams

Satellite Awards (United States)
2008   -   Satellite Award for Best Original Song - "Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire

MTV Awards
MTV India
2006   -   MTV Youth Icon of the Year

MTV Movie Awards
2009   -   Best Song From a Movie - "Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire

World Soundtrack Awards
2009   -   Best Original Score of the Year - Slumdog Millionaire
2009   -   Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film - "O Saya" - Slumdog Millionaire

Longlisted
This section refers to awards where Rahman has been considered for a nomination but has not been nominated.
Academy Awards
2007   -   Best Original Song - "Lukka Chuppi" - Rang De Basanti
2007   -   Best Original Song - "Khalbali" - Rang De Basanti
2007   -   Best Original Song - "Aayo Re Sakhi" - Water
2010   -   Best Original Song - "Nana" - Couples Retreat