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Year Ender |  06 Jan 2010 11:14 |  By chiragsutar

Rewind '09 - 2009: A milestone year for A R Rahman

MUMBAI:  As the Mozart of Madras turns 44 on Wednesday, Radioandmusic.com pays tribute to the maestro by tracking his numerous successes of the past year, a year that A R Rahman is unlikely to forget in a hurry. 2009 was when he took the world music stage by storm, gathering up accolades and awards in his fold and taking to the international scene in a big way. The prestigious Time Magazine also lists Rahman as one of the most influential personalities in the world   

After his Oscar win for Danny Doyle's Slumdog Millionaire in February, recognitions, awards, Hollywood projects, and collaborations followed - in the music world, he was the man who had everyone glued to his every note and every move. Radioandmusic.com tracks the genius musician 

BAFTA AND GOLDEN GLOBE GETS THE BALL ROLLING

A R Rahman becomes the first Indian musician to win the Bafta award (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) for best original score. Resul Pookutty and his team (Glen Freemantle, Richard Pryke, Tom Sayers, Ian Tapp) too won Baftas for Best Sound Editing for Slumdog Millionaire. After Bafta, Rahman eventually goes on to win four prizes at prestigious Golden Globe awards where he bags the Best Original Music Score award for 'Jai Ho'.

THE BIG 'O'

A month after Rahman wins the Golden Globe award for best music score, he gets nominated for Best Original Score and Best Song (One each for Jai Ho and O Saya) for the Oscars. The nomination also brings international recognition for Veteran lyricist Gulzar, who has penned the lyrics for 'Jai ho' that was nominated for best original song for the 81st Annual Academy Awards.

PHILANTHROPHY TOUR KICKSTARTS

The first concert of the Jai Ho series is held at Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala, on 3 May 2009. Approximately, 50,000 people from all over the country and overseas attend the event. This, and subsequent concerts in Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata concert are not only meant for entertainment, but also help generate funds for socially underprivileged.

For 2010, Rahman is scheduled to perform in Middle-east, Singapore and Australia  

DOCTOR A R RAHMAN

First it was raining awards, now it's time for degrees and doctorates. Rahman gets picked for an Honorary Degree by Middlesex University, London in July 2009.

RAHMAN BLOGS ON MJ'S DEATH

June 25 was a day that sent news media into a tizzy as Michael Jackson passes away a month short of his comeback multi millionaire 'This is it' tour.

Rahman greives his loss on his blog, (excerpts) "I am shocked at the untimely passing away of Michael Jackson, one of the greatest musicians of our time. MJ, for most of our generation, was an icon who made uncompromising music. He pushed the milestone of Pop music to unbelievable levels through the 80s and 90s. I am yet to find an artist with that energy, perfection and vision.

I met him personally after the Oscars in Los Angeles and we vibed very well. He said that he loved India and the Indian people. He said he heard good things about me and he was praising the chord progression of Jai Ho's chorus. He was bursting with energy and told me that every dance move he did, came from his soul and did a five second stunning example. It was like a lightning strike."

RAHMAN INTRODUCES MJ COURSE

In November, it was reported that Rahman had introduced a course that gave music lovers an opportunity to study MJ's music at Rahman's Tamil Nadu based music school - the KM Music Conservatory. This is believed to be Rahman's way of honoring the legendary pop icon. Now, news reports also mention that Rahman is working on new tunes in memory of Jackson that will feature musicians from all over the world.

SIGNS EXCLUSIVE DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL

After the Oscar win, Rahman signed an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. According to the deal, large portions of Rahman's catalog as well as new music rights to the 'Slumdog' music were included in the UMPG deal.

David Renzer, chairman and CEO of UMPG said that the fact that he is a twice over Oscar winner has really elevated his visibility and notoriety globally. The Rahman deal, Renzer said, fits the company's strategy as film and television music are one of the key areas that are focused on....


BOLLYWOOD ON HOLD

The only scores that Rahman releases in 2009 for Bollywood are Dilli 6 and Blue. While Dilli 6' 'Masakali' becomes a rage, Anthony DSouza's Blue, which boasted a high budget and featured the likes of Kylie Minogue, bombs. Expectations from Blue's music get phenomenally high after Rahman's Oscar win, the music however gets mixed reviews 

RAHMAN GOES ON A HOLLYWOOD RETREAT

Rahman records his score for the ensemble romantic comedy, Couples Retreat. Written by Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn and Dana Fox, the film is directed by Peter Billingsly and revolves around four couples who go to an island resort for vacation. Though the film doesn't work as expected, the film's soundtrack, an interesting mix of reggae and Indian sounds, is highly appreciated 

RAHMAN SCORES FOR SHORT FILM

The maestro teams up with filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor for a short film called 'Passage' and scores four tracks for this short film which opens with Tango (originally composed by Carla Pugliese), Atmosphere, Aria (sung by Kavita Baliga) and Waltz.

Directed by Kapur and produced by Curious Pictures Production and Swarovski Entertainment, Passage starrs Julia Stiles (Cry Of The Owl, The Bourne Ultimatum), Lily Cole and Haley Benett (Marley and Me, Music and Lyrics).

LAUNCHES ON-LINE STORE

After launching his own music label in 2006, Rahman launches online shop – The A R Rahman Store, on his official website (www.arrahman.com). The store presently sells several items, but says it plans to expand the inventory to include exclusive pre-sale tickets, merchandise, DVDs and more.... But currently one can only shop with Canadian Dollars, Euros, British Pounds, and US Dollars.

ANNOUNCES FREE CONCERT FOR AUSTRALIA

Out of concern for the current tensions in Australian/Indian relations as a result of attacks on Indian students in Australia, Rahman himself suggested a free concert as a demonstration of cultural diplomacy and a gesture of goodwill. Sydney Festival announces that the Academy Award-winning composer of the Slumdog Millionaire would be giving an exclusive free concert at Parramatta Park on Saturday 16 January as part of the 2010 Festival program.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES CONCERT CANCELED

Ironically, Rahman's dream to perform at the Commonwealth Games curtain-raiser in Delhi is marred by the austerity drive. Rahman's concert scheduled for 3 October to mark 'one year to go event' before Commonwealth Games 2010 gets canceled. The Rahman concert, to be held in Delhi, was supposed to have cost around Rs 30 million.

WINS GRASSROOT GRAMMY

Awards and recognition continue to flow in as Rahman bags a Grassroot Grammy for for his soundtrack in the Tamil film "Godfather" in the 'Best Indian album' category at the 'Just Plain Folks 2009 Music Awards' in Nashville. Rahman also win the third place in the 'Best Indian Song' category for 'Innisai' (Radio Mix) from "Godfather" 

RECEIVES TWO GRAMMY NOMINATIONS

There's a lot to hope for in 2010. Before the year ended, it was announced that Rahman's Jai Ho has received two Grammy nominations - one each in the category of Best Song written for Motion Picture, Television or Other visual media and Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other visual Media for Slumdog Millionaire.

Jai Ho!

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