Musician A.R. Rahman turns 47
The Mozart of Madras or A.R. Rahman, who has redefined the Indian contemporary music, turned 47 on Sunday.
Born as A. S. Dileep Kumar, the Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist and philanthropist has not only composed some of the ever-green tracks for Bollywood but has also emerged as a global figure.
He has won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South in addition to numerous other awards and nominations.
This soft spoken musician has also won international accolades with the Time magazine placing him in its list of World's Most Influential People and The UK based World Music magazine Songlines naming him as one of 'Tomorrow's World Music Icons' in August 2011.
Rahman started scoring for films in the early 1990s with the Tamil film 'Roja'.
The debut led Rahman win the Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus) award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards, which was an unprecedented victory for a first-time film composer.
Rahman has been awarded the maximum Silver Lotus as he won the award three more times for 'Minsara Kanavu' (Tamil) in 1997, 'Lagaan' (Hindi) in 2002, 'Kannathil Muthamittal' (Tamil) in 2003.
He is also credited to have brought digitization for the first time in Indian music industry.
The soundtrack of the film 'Bombay' by Rahman made a record by selling 12 million copies worldwide and the "Bombay Theme", from Mani Ratnam's 'Bombay' later reappeared in his score of Deepa Mehta's 'Fire', other various compilations and media around the world.
The theme was also featured in the Palestinian Film Divine Intervention in 2002, and in the Nicolas Cage film Lord of War, in 2005.
His niche and genre have been widely acclaimed in Indian films like 'Dil se', 'Taal', 'Swadesh', 'Rang De Basanti', and 'Water' to name a few.
Rahman not only contributed to film music but his album 'Vande Mataram' is till date the largest selling non-film album in India.
Over times the musician has collaborated with many International musicians and created novel tracks.
Rahman was the first Indian to bring International glory of Academy Awards (for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song at the 81st Academy Awards) to India with his composition for 'Slumdog Millionaire'.
Rahman won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.
He has also won two Grammy Awards for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Song Written for a Visual Media. He is the recipient of the Padma Bhushan, in 2010.
The star from South India has received honorary doctorates from the Middlesex University, Aligarh Muslim University and Anna University in Chennai.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the Trinity College of Music, presented to him by Trinity College London.
The musician has also ventured into mainstream Hollywood by composing music for the film 'Couples Retreat'.
Rahman has recently announced the completion of music score for Steven Spielberg's 'Welcome to People'.