AR Rahman - Did you know?

Rahman has now become a household name with the success of Slumdog Millionaire. Here are 15 things you may not have known about this Musical Maestro...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 | 11:50:10 AM IST (+05:30 GMT)
 36 Comments | By

AR Rahman, the name has always been recognised with soul-stirring music that strikes a chord with the heart of the listener. However  with the Slumdog, he has become an household name. AR Rehman  has won awards at both, the Oscars and Golden Globe. Upon receiving these awards, AR Rehman has not only created an identity in the outer world but also created an image from India & its culture.

But here are some things you may not know about the musical maestro...

1. Rahman was born a hindu. His name was A.S. Dilip Kumar. He converted to a Muslim after a Sufi saint helped him and his family in times of difficulty.

2. Rahman has few very popular nick-names. They are "The Mozart of Madras" and "Isai Puyal" which means Musical Maestro in tamil. He is also known as the "John Williams" of Indian Film Industry.

3. Rahman used to compose ad jingles before he started composing for music. Some of his jingles were for brands like Garden sarees, MRF tyres and Titan.

4. Rahman has launched several singers like Hariharan and Shankar Mahadevan and collaborates with close friends, Blaaze and Shivamani often.

5. His first movie was Roja, directed by Mani Ratnam in 1992. After which, he has given the music for all of Mani Ratnam's film.

6. His first soundtrack Roja is listed in Times "Top 10 Movie Soundtracks of all time"

7.  He has won national awards several times for his music and is the only music director to win an award as a dubutant for Roja.

8. His first movie in hindi was Rangeela in 1995. The Tamil Nadu distributor of Rangeela did away with the actors name altogether from the posters and replaced them with a mugshot of Rahman with the catchline The first original score of A.R.Rahman in Hindi.

9. He studied western classical musical in Trinity College of Music, London, UK

10. He has collaborated on The Lord of The Rings' Stage Musical original score with Finnish folk music group Varttina and Christopher Nightingale  

11. On August 15, 1997, he released an album called "Vande Mataram," on Columbia/SME Records, to commemorate 50 years of Indian independence. A tribute to the motherland, it featured songs for each of the Indian flag colors. The album was released simultaneously across the world in 28 countries, and Rahman himself performed in New Delhi to a packed audience including the honorable Prime Minister of India. Over 1.2 million copies were sold in India alone.  

12. He was nominated for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award (The Hilton Award) for Best New Musical of 2002, "Bombay Dreams," performed at the Apollo Theatre, West End, London, and on Broadway in New York City.  

13. 65-70% of Rahman's tunes have not seen the light of day.

14. Rahman is one of the few Asians to make it to the list of world's top 25 all-time top selling recording artists.

15. He is also one of the few people not to give the rights of his music to the director. He keeps them himself.

Congratulations Rahman on your success. And we look forward to hearing more of your wonderful music for years to come!

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Posted on: 05 August 2009 at 10:32pm
great .. he is a legend. he is so simple and down to earth personality and that makes him what he is... great !!!!!! his music has soul . his music has made bollywood so popular everywhere. good luck to rehman for everything he does..

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Posted on: 12 May 2009 at 4:17am
Hi. Im a great fan of ARR...I came across this really cool website and it has some neat stuff on him.Do check it out.

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Posted on: 06 March 2009 at 10:44pm
13. 65-70% of Rahman''s tunes have not seen the light of day.that is so wrong : / haha if the 30% of what we''ve heard is of THAT calibre, i really wonder what the other 70% sounds like.

ARR may as well be the best thing in music in my world. Seriously.

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Posted on: 05 March 2009 at 3:47am
wow....he is a legend

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Posted on: 05 March 2009 at 2:18am
thts nce and hs sngs are good! i didnt knw tht hes a muslim, i wndr if he actually does pray and stff or just a saying tht ''im a muslim''! dnt mean to be rude, jst wnt to fnd out!

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Posted on: 05 March 2009 at 1:35am
I was born and raised in the U.S., but I''ve grown up admiring this man. He is in truth my guru ji. He inspires me so much that I have advanced in Shastriya Sangeet for the past 10 years. THank you Guru ji, and love you. Salaam!

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Posted on: 04 March 2009 at 9:30pm
I live in America. I don''t have a lot of indian/paki channels. Only 2. Star and Zee... But watching him preform at the Oscars made me so proud.

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Posted on: 04 March 2009 at 6:52pm
gr8 music director!

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Posted on: 04 March 2009 at 2:46pm
actually knew most of these facts neways da last one no.15 he keeps da rights himself well did he know his song kehna hi kya has been sampled in ciara''s song ft chris brown-turntables but am not sure if dats an offical song or remix?? so if dey''v sampled it without ar rehmans knowledge/approvable/permission maybe ar rehman shud get in contact wiv dem coz dats a copyrights violation

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Posted on: 04 March 2009 at 12:59pm
rahman is d best music director in india

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