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The A. R. Rahman File

February 2009
The A. R. Rahman File


1 Golden Globe Awards he has won

3 English movies he has composed music for

4 National Film Awards he has won

43 His age (he was born Jan. 6, 1966, in Madras)

108 Total movies he has composed music for

300 Advertising jingles he has composed (minimum)

487 Google hits for “A.R. Rahman is a genius”


"I have rubbed many a producer the wrong way by disturbing the schedule, but it has paid off." (The Hindu)

“I always live with a song, sometimes for a week, sometimes for six months, to try and fix whatever is wrong with it. Because, if I don't like something, people will not like it either.” (

“When I make music, say, for a Tamil film, it is as respectful to me as working for a Hollywood production. I don’t think I am doing a Tamil film, so let me do a shoddy job. I give my fullest to it.” (Khaleej Times)


He was born as A.S. Dileep Kumar and changed his name to Allah Rakha Rahman after converting to Islam in 1989. His father, a Tamil musician who composed music for Malayalam films, died when Rahman was only 9.

He started taking piano lessons at age 4 and was only 11 when he joined the troupe of acclaimed composer Ilaiyaraaja as a keyboardist. After playing in orchestras and going on world tours, he won a scholarship to Trinity College of Music in London, where he earned a degree in western classical music.

He opened a recording and mixing studio in 1991 and initially produced advertising jingles. His film debut came in 1992, after director Mani Ratnam asked him to compose the score and soundtrack for the Tamil film “Roja.”

The Mozart of Madras, as Time magazine once dubbed him, became the first Indian to win a Global Globe Award when he was honored last month for his music in “Slumdog Millionaire.”


His official website

Rahman accepting the Golden Globe

An interview on CNN-IBN

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