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Allahrakka Rahman, known professionally as A. R. Rahman, is an Indian composer, singer and music producer. He is nicknamed “Isai Puyal” and Mozart of Madras”. In 2010, the Indian government awarded him the Padma Bhushan, the nation’s third-highest civilian award.

Real NameA. S. Dileep Kumar
Full NameAllah Rakha Rahman
Nickname(s)Isai Puyal, The Mozart of Madras
Profession(s)Music Director, Singer
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 165 cm
in meters- 1.65 m
in Feet Inches- 5’ 5”
Weight (approx.)in kilograms- 70 kg
in pounds- 154 lbs
Eye ColourBrown
Hair ColourBlack
Personal Life
Date of Birth1967-01-06
Age (as in 2020)53 Years
BirthplaceChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Zodiac signCapricorn
SignatureA. R. Rahman signature
HometownChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
SchoolPadma Seshadri Bal Bhavan, Chennai
CollegeMadras Christian College, Chennai
Trinity College of Music, Oxford University, United Kingdom
Educational QualificationDegree in Western Classical Music
DebutMusic Director: Roja (1992, Tamil & Hindi)
Album: Vande Mataram (1997)
FamilyFather- R. K. Shekhar (Music Composer)
Mother- Kareema Beegum
Brother- None
Sisters- A. R. Reihana, Fathima Rafiq and Ishrath Qadri
ReligionIslam (converted from Hinduism)
AddressKodambakkam, Chennai
HobbiesPlaying the Keyboard
Awards, HonoursNational Film Award
1992- Best Music Direction - Roja
1996- Best Music Direction - Minsara Kanavu
2001- Best Music Direction - Lagaan
2002- Best Music Direction - Kannathil Muthamittal
2017- Best Music Direction - Kaatru Veliyidai
2017- Best Music Direction - Mom
Academy Award
2009- Best Original Score and Best Original Song for "Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire
2009- Best Film Music - Slumdog Millionaire
Grammy Award
2009- Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture for "Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire
1995- Kalaimamani by the Government of Tamil Nadu
2000- Padma Shri by the Government of India
2001- Awadh Samman by the Government of Uttar Pradesh
2004- National Lata Mangeshkar Award by the Government of Madhya Pradesh
2010- Padma Bhushan by the Government of India
ControversiesA fatwa or fringe was issued against him for composing music of biopic on Prophet Muhammad, called "Muhammad: The Messenger of God."
Favourite Things
FoodPalak Paneer, Rasam-Rice
Musician(s)Ilayaraja, Mohammad Rafi, Michael Jackson
Destination(s)Chennai, Mumbai, London
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Wife/SpouseSaira Banu
ChildrenDaughter- Khatija, Rahima
Son- Ameen
Money Factor
Salary (approx.)Rs. 5-8 crore/film
Net Worth (approx.)Rs. 163 crore

Some Lesser Known Facts About A. R. Rahman

  • Does A. R. Rahman smoke?: No
  • Does A. R. Rahman alcohol?: No
  • Rahman was known earlier known as A. S. Dileep Kumar before he converted from Hinduism to Islam.
  • He had a difficult childhood as his father died when he was 9 years old, leaving him as the sole earning source of his family. Initially, he used to play his father’s keyboard to earn money.
  • He scored 62% in his board exams.
  • He aspired to be a computer engineer.
  • Following the footsteps of his father, he incepted his early training in music from Master Dhanraj.
  • His first salary was 50 (INR) for operating a record player.
  • From 1984-88, he was part of the band called Roots”. During this period, he also played keyboard for 10 – 12 Kannada films.
  • Later, he became part of a rock band called “Nemesis Avenue”, where he worked as producer-arranger and also performed for a concert ‘Jive live’.
  • In 1987, he started composing short songs for ad commercials, first among them was Alwyn’s new trendy range of watches. And, in the span of 5 years, he composed around 300 of them.
  • In 1989, he and his family converted to Islam from Hinduism after his sister felt magical relief out of her severe illness from the blessings of a Pir Qadri called Sheik Abdul Qadir Jeelani.
  • In 1991, he met a producer, Sharada Trilok, who introduced him to her cousin, Mani Ratnam who got so much impressed with his performance, that he gave him a breakthrough in the film Roja (1992). In 2005, the same song was listed among TIME’s “10 Best Soundtracks” of all time.
  • Very few people know that the first film for which he composed music was Mohanlal starrer Yodha (1992), a Malayalam film.
  • By 2004, he was among the world’s all-time top-selling recording artists, as till then, he sold almost 200 million cassettes and 150 million recordings of his soundtracks.
  • Though he loves to compose music of all genders, but romantic is his favorite.
  • In 2008, he founded KM College of Music and Technology in Chennai, which was inaugurated by Mukesh Ambani.
  • His Oscar Award-winning song “Jai Ho” was initially composed for the Bollywood film Yuvvraaj (2008), but it later became a part of Slumdog Millionaire (2008).
  • In 2012, he had received a Christmas card and a dinner invitation from Barack Obama, the then President of the United States at the White House.
  • He shares his birthday (6 January) with his son, Ameen.
  • He is a global ambassador of the WHO’s “Stop TB Partnership” and also supports “Save the Child” in India.
  • In 2013, a street was named in his honour in Markham, Ontario, Canada.A. R. Rahman Street in Canada
  • Unlike other musicians, he likes composing music at night.
  • His favourite raaga is ‘Sindhu Bhairavi’.
  • Along with filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor, he has launched a social media platform called “Qyuki”, to showcase the raw talent in India.
  • On 20 January 2017, he along with members of the Nadigar Sangam observed a one-day fast to support the people of Tamil Nadu protesting against the ban on Jallikattu ( a bull-taming event).
  • In January 2018, he became the first-ever brand ambassador of Sikkim.A. R. Rahman in Sikkim
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