The impact of AR Rahman on the Indian music industry has been groundbreaking as he has sold over 100 million records and over 200 million cassettes worldwide in just ten years. This exceptional accomplishment has established him as one of the top 25 highest-selling recording artists in history.
AR Rahman, born on January 6, 1967 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, is a renowned musician who has revolutionized the music industry in India. His unique style blends classical, folk, jazz, reggae, soft rock and other genres in the soundtracks and scores he composes for Indian films. Fans often compare him to Mozart and affectionately call him the Mozart of Madras. Throughout his career spanning over ten years, AR Rahman has sold over one hundred million records worldwide and more than two hundred million cassettes.
AR Rahman, a prominent figure in Indian contemporary music today, is also among the world’s top 25 all-time best-selling recording artists. Despite facing struggles throughout his professional life, Rahman persevered. Tragically, at only 9 years old, his father R K Shekhar, a composer, arranger, and conductor for Malayalam films, passed away. To make ends meet during this difficult time, Rahman’s family had to rent out musical equipment.
However, it was when Rahman’s sister fell seriously ill that he made the decision to reinvent himself as A R Rahman. This pivotal moment marked a significant change in his career trajectory.
A Muslim friend suggested that by praying in a specific mosque, his sister’s recovery would be ensured. Surprisingly, this suggestion turned out to be true, leading the entire family to convert to Islam. In 1991, AR Rahman’s music career began its ascent when he established his own studio and started composing music for various mediums including advertisements and television channels. However, Rahman’s breakthrough in the Indian film industry occurred when acclaimed director Mani Ratnam granted him the opportunity to compose music for his Tamil film, Roja. Remarkably, Rahman accepted this offer for a mere Rs 25,000. The subsequent success of Roja propelled both the movie and A.R. Rahman into stardom, solidifying his position within the industry.
AR Rahman made history in the Indian film industry by winning the Rajat Kamal award for best music director at the National Film Awards with his debut film Roja. This prestigious accolade had never before been given to a first-time film composer. As a result of this achievement, AR Rahman received countless offers to compose music for films and has since produced an impressive array of popular tracks. His compositions for blockbuster movies like Rangeela, Dil Se Taal, Rang De Basanti, and Bombay have achieved immense success both in India and abroad.