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News |  06 Jan 2017 18:23 |  By RnMTeam

Birthday Special: 15 facts that you should know about AR Rahman

MUMBAI: 6 January 2017 marks music maestro AR Rahman's 50th birthday. AR Rahman, the globally acclaimed composer’s musical outlook defines how influential he has been throughout the years. Oh his 50th birthday, thought of dedicating a mark of respect to two-time Oscar winner music legend.

AR Rahman, is an inspiration to us all, he is not only India's but also world’s most renowned music icons. His fans are already aware of his creations, despite that, here are 13 facts that you should know about this celebrated musician.

  • Born as Dileep Kumar, he started learning the piano at the age of 4. His father passed away when he was 9 and at 11 he joined Ilaiyaraaja's troupe as a keyboard player to support his family.
  • Before converting to Islam in 1989, he used to be an atheist during much of his childhood.
  • Rahman started his career by composing musical scores for documentaries, advertisements, and Television channels before debuting as a film composer for Mani Ratnam’s ‘Roja’ in 1992.
  • Rahman was selected by Mani Ratnam for the film ‘Roja’ in his studio Panchathan Record Inn. Ratnam listened to a tune that Rahman had composed long back on the Kaveri River water dispute (later revealed to be ‘Tamizha Tamizha’ from the soundtrack), and he signed him immediately.
  • 'The Mozart of Madras' was celebrated as ‘Tomorrow's World Music Icons’ by UK-based world-music magazine Songlines in August 2011.
  • Rahman used to be a keyboard player and arranger for a band ‘Roots’ along with childhood friend and percussionist Sivamani, John Anthony, Suresh Peters, JoJo and Raja. Also, he founded the Chennai-based rock group Nemesis Avenue with the same group of people.
  • His soundtrack for ‘Bombay’ (1995) sold 12 million copies worldwide. His ‘Vande Mataram’ album was released on India's 50th anniversary of independence in 1997. ‘Vande Mataram’ is one of India's bestselling non-film albums.
  • In 2005, Rahman expanded his Panchathan Record Inn studio by establishing AM Studios in Kodambakkam, Chennai, which is the most cutting-edge studio in Asia. Also, the following year he launched his own music label, KM Music (2005).
  • 2014 was one of the busiest years for Rahman, with him claiming to have worked in 12 films in various languages.
  • Rahman also performed at a White House state dinner arranged by former US President Barack Obama during an official visit by former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 24 November 2009.
  • Rahman began his first world tour, ‘AR. Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour’ on 11 June 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in New York, where 16 cities were scheduled worldwide.
  • On May 2011 Mick Jagger formed a supergroup, ‘SuperHeavy’, along with Rahman, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, and Damian Marley.  Its self-titled album released on 19 September 2011 where Jagger sang on Rahman's composition, ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (‘The Truth Alone Triumphs’).
  • In December 2012 Rahman and Shekhar Kapoor launched ‘Qyuki’, a networking site, which is a platform for story writers to exchange their thoughts.
  • In 2013, a street in Markham, Ontario, Canada, was named after Rahman in his honour.
  • In 2008, Rahman opened the KM Music Conservatory with an audio-media education facility to train aspiring musicians in vocals, instruments, music technology, and sound design in Kodambakkam, Chennai.