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All about legendary AR Rahman

A man who is not restrained by any boundary and mixes music from East and West. He has brought East and West closer through his music.

SNS | New Delhi |

God to all the music lovers AR Rehman is one of its kind. He is the pride of the country winning two Oscars for his music in “Slumdog Millionaire.” A man who is not restrained by any boundary and mixes music from East and West. He has brought East and West closer through his spiritual music. He is a multi-talented singer who is the reason behind the world looking at Indian music more seriously now. He is always experimenting and is open to fresh ideas. Rahman is a well-known humanitarian and philanthropist who donates money to numerous causes and charities.


A. R. Rahman was born on 6 January 19 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. He converted from Hinduism to Islam and changed his name from A. S. Dileep Kumar to A. R. Rahman (Allahrakka Rahman). Because of his father’s early demise, his family went through a rough patch. He was just 9 years old back then, and the responsibility to support his family came to him. He lived in a joint family. He did his schooling at Padma Seshadri Bal Bhavan, Chennai. He went to Madras Christian College. He obtained a scholarship from Trinity College of Music, Oxford University, United Kingdom. He always had a passion for electronic gadgets, particularly musical instruments. He began earning money by playing his father’s keyboard and worked with distinguished people like Illaya Raja and Raj Koti. Being a bright student he wanted to become a computer engineer. But due to the hardship of life, he started following his father’s track and started his training in music under Master Dhanraj. He got 50 (INR) as his first salary for operating a record player.

Physical appearance

High- 5’5”

Eye colour- Brown

Hair Colour- Black


Father’s name- R. K. Shekhar

Mother’s name- Kareema Beegum, earlier Kasturi Shekhar.

Sisters- sisters, A. R. Reihana, Fathima Rafiq, and Ishrath Qadri.

Wife- Saira Banu

Kids- Khatija, Rahima –  daughters

Ameen- son

In 1989, he, along with his family, converted to Islam from Hinduism; soon after his sister got relief from her severe illness. According to them, it was all because of the blessings of a Pir Qadri called Sheik Abdul Qadir Jeelani.


A. R. Rahman began his career with a band called Roots (1984-88). A. R. Rahman Roots band

Along with being a part of this band, he also played the keyboard for 10/12 Kannada films. Later, he joined a rock band called “Nemesis Avenue.”

In this band, he used to work as a producer-arranger and performed for a concert “Jive live” as well. In 1987, he started composing ad jingles. His first break was for Alwyn’s new Trendy range of watches. He composed songs for around 300 ads in 5 years. Meanwhile, he worked on the album “Colours” with famous personalities like Shankar, Sivamani and Zakir Hussain. Afterwards, he met acclaimed director Mani Ratnam through a producer, Sharada Trilok in 1991. Mani Ratnam was highly impressed with Rahman’s work; as a result of which he got a breakthrough in the film “Roja” (1992). After his debut in “Roja,” he became a household name throughout India. Being successful at selling almost 200 million cassettes and 150 million recordings of his soundtracks, he was placed among the world’s all-time top-selling recording artists in 2004. Even after achieving a lot, he did not stop learning and further polished his musical skills by getting trained in classical Hindustani, Carnatic, Qawwali and Western classical music under the guidance of different masters such as Dakshinamurthy, N. Gopalakrishnan, Krishnan Nair, Nithyanandham, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Jacob John. To celebrate 50 years of Indian independence, he composed an album named “Vande Mataram” in collaboration with Sony Music in 1997. It was Sony’s first album with a South-Asian artist. In 2008, he composed the song “Jai Ho” for the movie “Slumdog Millionaire“ for which he won the Oscar. Later, Rahman composed the music for the Netflix series called “Daughters of Destiny,” directed by Vanessa Roth.

This Oscar-winning music composer is also the cultural ambassador of Seychelles for his contribution to the country’s art and culture development.

List of Awards 


  • Best Music Director for the movie “Roja” in 1992
  • Best Music Director for the movie “Minsara Kanavuin” in 1996
  • Best Music Director for the movie “Lagaan” in 2001
  • Best Music Director for the movie “Kannathil Muthamittal” in 2002
  • Best Music Director for the movie “Kaatru Veliyidai” in 2017
  • Best Music Director for the movie “Mom” in 2017

Academy Awards

  • Best Original Score and Best Original Song for the song “Jai Ho” from the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2009


  • Best Film Music for the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2009


  • Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Song Written for the song “Jai Ho” of the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2009


  • Kalaimamani by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1995
  • Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2000
  • Awadh Samman by the Government of Uttar Pradesh in 2001
  • National Lata Mangeshkar Award by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in 2004

Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2010

Favourite things

  • Raaga: Sindhu Bhairavi
  • Food: Palak Paneer, Rasam-Rice
  • Musicians: Ilayaraja, Michael Jackson
  • Destinations: Chennai, Mumbai, London
  • Singer: Mohammed Rafi

Facts about AR Rehman

He is the founder of KM College of Music and Technology in Chennai which was inaugurated by Mukesh Ambani in the year 2008.

In 2012, Barack Obama, the then President of the United States at the White House, sent him a Christmas card and invited him to dinner as well.

Rahman and his son, Ameen’s birthday falls on the same date, 6 January.

A street in Markham, Ontario, Canada is named after him as a tribute to him.

He started a social media platform called “Qyuki” along with filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor. Through this social networking media platform, story writers can exchange their thoughts.

He practices at a place near Mahabalipuram which helps him connect with music. At that moment, he says that he feels like delivering a prayer to God.

In 2009, Rahman was awarded a doctorate in Media Sciences by Anna University.

He established his studio named “The Panchathan Record Inn & AM Studios” on his street at Kodambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 1989.