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A R Rahman

461783 Plays on Hummaa, 6 different languages
1298 Tracks on Hummaa
Tamil 503
Hindi 416
Telugu 218
English 97
Kannada 13

A R Rahman’s biography

A. R. Rahman (born on January 6, 1966 as A. S. Dileep Kumar in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India),Tamilian by birth is an  award-winning composer, record producer and musician. He is a musical legend who revolutionized the music  standards in India. He was the only musician from India to take Indian music to the world standards and was  successful in composing music at the age of 12. Today music buffs in India and not only in India, but also all  parts of the world recognizes his music and his music has satisfied all types of music attenders. This magnificent  man is one who redefined contemporary Indian music and is the pride of the entire nation and an idol for millions  all over the world needs no preamble.

In a career spanning over a decade, Rahman, by 2003, had sold more than one hundred million records of his film  scores and soundtracks world-wide,and sold over 200 million cassettes making him one of the world's top 25  all-time top selling recording artists.

A. R. Rahman was born to R. K. Shekhar, a composer, arranger and conductor for Malayalam-language films. His  father died when Rahman was nine years old, and his family rented out musical equipment as a source of income.

During these early years, Rahman served as a keyboard player and an arranger in bands such as "Roots" and "Nemesis  Avenue" with friends including Sivamani, embracing numerous music genres. He played the keyboard and piano, in  addition to, among others, the synthesizer, the harmonium and the guitar. His curiosity in the synthesizer in  particular increased because, he says, it was the 'ideal combination of music and technology.''  He began early  training in music under Master Dhanraj. At the age of 11, he joined, as a keyboardist, the troupe of Ilaiyaraaja  ,a great composer of all times  and one of many composers to whom musical instruments belonging to Rahman's father  were rented to. Rahman later played in the orchestra of M. S. Viswanathan and Ramesh Naidu, accompanied Zakir  Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L. Shankar on world tours and obtained a scholarship to Trinity College of  Music, where he graduated with a degree in Western classical music.

In 1991, Rahman began his own music recording and mixing studio, attached to backyard of his house, called the  Panchathan Record Inn. He initially composed music jingles for advertisements, Indian Television channels and  music scores in documentaries, among other projects. In 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to  compose the score and soundtrack for Ratnam's Tamil film Roja. The debut led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal  award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards, the first time ever by a first-time film composer.  Rahman has since then gone on to win the award three more times (for his scores for Minsaara Kanavu (Electric  Dreams, Tamil) in 1997, Lagaan (Tax, Hindi) in 2002, Kannathil Muthamittal (A Kiss on the Cheek, Tamil) in 2003),  the most ever by any composer.

Roja's score met with high sales and acclaim, in its original and dubbed versions, bringing about an effective  transformation in film music at the time, and Rahman followed this with scores for films including, among others,  Bombay, Kadhalan, Indira, Minsaara Kanavu, Muthu and Love Birds, which gained him notice. His soundtracks gained  him recognition in the Tamil film industry and across the country for his versatality in classical, folk, jazz,  reggae, soft rock and other styles in his pieces. Rangeela, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, marked Rahman's debut in  Hindi films. Many popular and superhit scores for films including Dil Se and Taal followed. The sales of these  albums prompted several film producers to take film music more seriously.

Rahman's work is also unique in the fact that his collaborations with some film directors have always resulted in  successful soundtracks. In particular, he has worked with Mani Ratnam on ten films until 2006, all of which have  been musical hits. Also notable is his collaboration with the director S. Shankar in the films Gentleman,  Kadhalan, Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, Nayak, Boys and Sivaji.

His first movie album Roja was listed in TIME's "Top 10 Movie Soundtracks of All Time" in 2005.  Rahman continued  to record frequently in his studio, the Panchathan Record Inn, which was then further developed and renamed A.M.  Studios in 2005. It is considered to be the most developed, equipped and high tech studio of Asia. In 2006, Rahman  launched his own music label, KM Musiq. It's first release was his soundtrack to the film Sillunu Oru Kaadhal  which it released worldwide, in August 2006. His latest work includes Rang De Basanti, Sillunu Oru Kaadhal, Guru,  Varalaru - The History of the Godfather, Sivaji: The Boss, Azhagiya Tamil Magan, and Jodhaa Akbar . Rahman has  scored the movie Provoked, co-scored Elizabeth: The Golden Age,and is working on Chamki Chameli to be released in  2008 and Hindi version of Tamil blockbuster Ghajini. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri.

Rahman has been involved in several projects aside from film. He made an album Vande Mataram (1997) on India's  50th anniversary of independence to immense success. He followed it up with an album called Jana gana mana, a  conglomeration of performances by many leading exponents/artists of Indian classical music. In addition to writing  jingles for ads, he has composed several orchestrations for athletic events and T.V. and internet media  publications, documentaries and short films.

In 2002, he composed his maiden stage production Bombay Dreams (2002) following a commission from famous musical  theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Furthermore, Rahman, along with the Finnish folk music band Varttina,  composed the music for The Lord of the Rings theatre production. He composed the piece "Raga's Dance" for Vanessa  Mae's album Choreography (2004).

In the last six years, he has performed in three successful world tours of his concerts to audiences in Singapore,  Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, UK, Canada, the US (Hollywood Bowl and 3d tour) and India. A two-disc soundtrack,  Introducing A. R. Rahman, (2006) featuring 25 pieces he composed from his Tamil film scores was released in May  2006.

Rahman's interest in the works of Classical and Romantic period composers, Carnatic composers, early film  composers and predecessors K. V. Mahadevan and Vishwanathan-Ramamoorthy of the film industry of Tamil Nadu and  others continued through his late teens. He further explored and trained in Carnatic music, Western classical,  Hindustani music and the Qawwali style of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, in addition to numerous other styles. His  interest and outlook in music is said to stem from his love of experimentation.  As a result, his scores have  alternated from songs and themes composed covering a variety of genres, with unconventionally-grouped instruments,  and different vocal styles being used and combined together in some of his film soundtracks, to more traditional  orchestral themes with leitmotif techniques composed in others. Rahman's works often feature a mix of minimalist  songs and evocative, thematic pieces, building on his differing chord progressions and rhythms. He has written  scores and songs with new and varied melodic and percussive sounds from instruments of different music systems.

In addition to composing themes for charity media features and events, Rahman has set up the "A. R. Rahman  Foundation" with a goal to eradicate poverty globally. This includes setting up and partnering with educational  institutions across India to provide education to children who do not have easy access to schools or funds. In  2004, he was appointed as the Global Ambassador of the Stop TB Partnership, a project by WHO. He has shown support  to charities including Save the Children, India, and worked with Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam for his song "Indian  Ocean" . The song featured a-ha keyboard player Magne Furuholmen and Travis drummer, Neil Primrose. The proceeds  of the song went towards helping orphans in Banda Aceh, one of the areas worst affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean  Tsunami.

Rahman (born Dileep Kumar) is the second of four children born to R. K. Shekhar and Kareema Begum (Kasthuri). He  has three sisters, Raihanah (Kanchana), Fatima Talat (Bala) and Mohamed Shafiq. He is married to Saira and has  three children - Khadija, Rahima and Amin. Rahman is an alumni of the PSBB Lake Area School, Nungambakkam, Chennai  and also studied at Madras Christian College for a while. His nephew G. V. Prakash Kumar, son of sister Raihanah,  is a composer in the Tamil film industry.
Top tracks of A R Rahman
 Munbe Vaa from Album Sillunu Oru Kadhal (Tamil)41483
 Hosanna from Album Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (Tamil)29142
 Jai Ho from Album Slumdog Millionaire (Hindi)23098
 Mannipaaya from Album Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (Tamil)20486
 Anbil Avan from Album Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (Tamil)17921
 Ellaappugazhum from Album Azhagiya Tamilmagan (Tamil)17619
 Omana Penne from Album Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (Tamil)15442
 Ponmagal Vandaal from Album Azhagiya Tamilmagan (Tamil)15285
 Aaromale from Album Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (Tamil)15124
 Taxi Taxi from Album Sakkarakatti (Tamil)13894
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