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Allah Rakha Rahman (Tamil: ஏ.ஆர்.ரஹ்மான்) (born on January 6, 1967 as A. S. Dileep Kumar in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) is an internationally renowned musician, best known for composing film scores and soundtracks. He is also known as Mozart of Madras and Isai Puyal
In a career spanning over a decade, Rahman has sold more than one hundred million records world-wide, and sold over two hundred million cassettes making him one of the world's top 25 all-time top selling
In 1991, Rahman began his own studio, attached to his house, called the Panchathan Record Inn. His music was used in advertisements, the title music of Indian Television channels and music in documentaries, among other projects. Rahman was, at first, hesitant about composing music for the Indian film industry primarily because most film makers at the time used songs as fillers. In 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam, who offered Rahman the job as composer for his upcoming Tamil language film Roja, at a price of Rs. 25,000. Rahman accepted, and the movie's debut led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal award for best music director at the National Film Awards, the first time ever by a first-time film composer. Rahman has since then gone on to win the award three more times (for Minsaara Kanavu (Electric Dreams, Tamil) in 1997, Lagaan (Tax, Hindi) in 2002 and Kannathil Muthamittal (A Kiss on the Cheek, Tamil) in 2003), the most ever by any composer.
When Rahman arrived on the Indian music scene with his first film Roja, he brought about a transformation of film music. Roja was a hit, in its original and dubbed versions, and Rahman followed it up with a number of other popular films, including Bombay, Kadhalan, Indira, Minsaara Kanavu, Muthu and Love Birds. His soundtracks gained him recognition and notice in the Tamil film industry and across the country for his versatality in classical, folk, jazz, reggae, soft rock and other styles. Rangeela, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, marked Rahman's debut in Hindi films. Many popular albums for films including Dil Se and Taal followed. The sales of these albums prompted movie producers to take film music more seriously. Rahman's playback singing in several of his albums was also admired
Rahman's work is also unique in the fact that his collaborations with some film directors have always resulted in successful albums. In particular, he has worked with Mani Ratnam on ten films until 2006, all of which have been musical hits. Also notable is his collaboration with the director S. Shankar - in Gentleman, Kadhalan, Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, Nayak, Boys and Sivaji.The following article was written in TIME magazine about Rahman's achievements. His first movie album Roja was listed in TIME magazine's "Top 10 Movie Soundtracks of All Time".In addition to influencing western audiences, Rahman also impressed eastern audiences with his music so much that he was hired by Chinese director He Ping to compose the score and soundtrack for the Chinese film Warriors of Heaven and Earth in 2003
His latest work includes Water, Rang De Basanti, Sillunu Oru Kaadhal, Guru , Varalaru - The History of the Godfather and Sivaji: The Boss. Rahman has scored the movie Provoked and is also working on Shyam Benegal's next venture, Chamki Chameli, which is set for release in late 2007 as well as Jodhaa Akbar. He has also composed the score for Shekhar Kapur's upcoming film Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Rahman is a recipient of the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards in India
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