A. R. Rahman Age, Wife, Children, Family, Biography

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Wife: Saira Banu
Age: 56 Years
Hometown: Chennai

A. R. Rahman

Real NameA. S. Dileep Kumar
Full NameAllah Rakha Rahman
Nickname(s)Isai Puyal, The Mozart of Madras
Profession(s)Music Director, Singer
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)5' 5" (165 cm)
Weight (approx.)70 Kg (154 lbs)
Eye ColourBrown
Hair ColourBlack
Personal Life
Date of Birth6 January 1967
Age (as of 2024)57 Years
BirthplaceChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Zodiac signCapricorn
SignatureA. R. Rahman signature
HometownChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
SchoolPadma Seshadri Bal Bhavan, Chennai
CollegeMadras Christian College, Chennai
Trinity College of Music, Oxford University, United Kingdom
Educational QualificationDegree in Western Classical Music
DebutMusic Director: Roja (1992, Tamil & Hindi)
Roja film
Album: Vande Mataram (1997)
Vande Mataram (1997)
FamilyFather- R. K. Shekhar (Music Composer)
Mother- Kareema Beegum
Brother- None
Sisters- A. R. Reihana, Fathima Rafiq and Ishrath Qadri
A. R. Rahman with his mother
ReligionIslam (converted from Hinduism)
AddressKodambakkam, Chennai
A. R. Rahman house
HobbiesPlaying the Keyboard
Awards, HonoursNational Film Award

1992- Best Music Direction - Roja
1996- Best Music Direction - Minsara Kanavu
2001- Best Music Direction - Lagaan
2002- Best Music Direction - Kannathil Muthamittal
2017- Best Music Direction - Kaatru Veliyidai
2017- Best Music Direction - Mom

Academy Award

2009- Best Original Score and Best Original Song for "Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire


2009- Best Film Music - Slumdog Millionaire

Grammy Award

2009- Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture for "Jai Ho" - Slumdog Millionaire


1995- Kalaimamani by the Government of Tamil Nadu
2000- Padma Shri by the Government of India
2001- Awadh Samman by the Government of Uttar Pradesh
2004- National Lata Mangeshkar Award by the Government of Madhya Pradesh
2010- Padma Bhushan by the Government of India
Controversies• A fatwa or fringe was issued against him for composing music of biopic on Prophet Muhammad, called "Muhammad: The Messenger of God."

Service tax row
In October 2019, a demand notice was issued against music composers A.R. Rahman, C.R. Santhosh Narayanan, and G.V. Prakash Kumar for not having remitted service tax in full by suppressing various receipts between 2013 and 2017. In 2020, Rahman filed a writ petition at the Madras High Court challenging the demand notice issued against him. In his affidavit, Mr. Rahman claimed that the Commissioner of GST and Central Excise demanded Rs. 13.58 crore on a wrong presumption after initiating proceedings against him as they presumed that the producers of the movies should be considered as owners of copyright of his musical works created on the basis of contractual agreements. According to Mr. Rahman, permanent transfer of copyright could not be termed as a service liable for tax. In a counter affidavit, the GST commissioner said that Mr. Rahman had created an artificial segregation of his work and paid service tax only for 10% to 15% of total consideration received by him. According to the commissioner, Rahman had not transferred absolute copyright of his work to the film producers, and he had retained certain rights such as right for public performance of his work and also to receive publishing royalties from across the world except India and Pakistan. The commissioner contended, “Any legally enforceable right retained by the petitioner disqualifies such assignment as absolute transfer... It is not an absolute transfer but a mere temporary transfer." On 2 February 2023, the Madras High Court dismissed Rahman's writ petition. [1]The Hindu
FoodPalak Paneer, Rasam-Rice
Musician(s)Ilayaraja, Mohammad Rafi, Michael Jackson
Destination(s)Chennai, Mumbai, London
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Wife/SpouseSaira Banu
A. R. Rahman with his wife
ChildrenDaughter- Khatija, Rahima
Son- Ameen
A. R. Rahman with his wife and children
Money Factor
Salary (approx.)Rs. 5-8 crore/film
Net Worth (approx.)Rs. 163 crore

A. R. Rahman

Some Lesser Known Facts About A. R. Rahman

  • Does A. R. Rahman smoke?: No
  • Does A. R. Rahman alcohol?: No
  • Rahman was known earlier known as A. S. Dileep Kumar before he converted from Hinduism to Islam.
  • He had a difficult childhood as his father died when he was 9 years old, leaving him as the sole earning source of his family. Initially, he used to play his father’s keyboard to earn money.

    A. R. Rahman's Childhood Photo

    A. R. Rahman’s Childhood Photo

  • He scored 62% in his board exams.
  • He aspired to be a computer engineer.
  • In an interview, he revealed that he didn’t attend college and loved to spend time with people in their 40s and 50s.
  • Following the footsteps of his father, he incepted his early training in music from Master Dhanraj.
  • His first salary was 50 (INR) for operating a record player.
  • From 1984-88, he was part of the band called Roots”. During this period, he also played keyboard for 10 – 12 Kannada films.

    A. R. Rahman - Roots Band

    A. R. Rahman – Roots Band

  • Later, he became part of a rock band called “Nemesis Avenue”, where he worked as producer-arranger and also performed for a concert ‘Jive live’.

    A. R. Rahman - Nemesis Avenue Band

    A. R. Rahman – Nemesis Avenue Band

  • In 1987, he started composing short songs for ad commercials, first among them was Alwyn’s new trendy range of watches. And, in the span of 5 years, he composed around 300 of them.
  • In 1989, he and his family converted to Islam from Hinduism after his sister felt magical relief out of her severe illness from the blessings of a Pir Qadri called Sheik Abdul Qadir Jeelani.
  • In 1991, he met a producer, Sharada Trilok, who introduced him to her cousin, Mani Ratnam who got so much impressed with his performance, that he gave him a breakthrough in the film Roja (1992). In 2005, the same song was listed among TIME’s “10 Best Soundtracks” of all time.
  • Very few people know that the first film for which he composed music was Mohanlal starrer Yodha (1992), a Malayalam film.
  • By 2004, he was among the world’s all-time top-selling recording artists, as till then, he sold almost 200 million cassettes and 150 million recordings of his soundtracks.
  • Though he loves to compose music of all genders, but romantic is his favorite.
  • In 2008, he founded KM College of Music and Technology in Chennai, which was inaugurated by Mukesh Ambani.

    A. R. Rahman KM College Of Music And Technology Inaugurated By Mukesh Ambani

    A. R. Rahman KM College Of Music And Technology Inaugurated By Mukesh Ambani

  • His Oscar Award-winning song “Jai Ho” was initially composed for the Bollywood film Yuvvraaj (2008), but it later became a part of Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

  • In 2012, he had received a Christmas card and a dinner invitation from Barack Obama, the then President of the United States at the White House.
  • He shares his birthday (6 January) with his son, Ameen.
  • He is a global ambassador of the WHO’s “Stop TB Partnership” and also supports “Save the Child” in India.
  • In 2013, a street was named in his honour in Markham, Ontario, Canada.

    A. R. Rahman Street in Canada

    A. R. Rahman Street in Canada

  • Unlike other musicians, he likes composing music at night.
  • His favourite raaga is ‘Sindhu Bhairavi’.
  • Along with filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor, he has launched a social media platform called “Qyuki”, to showcase the raw talent in India.

    A. R. Rahman And Shekhar Kapoor

    A. R. Rahman And Shekhar Kapoor

  • On 20 January 2017, he along with members of the Nadigar Sangam observed a one-day fast to support the people of Tamil Nadu protesting against the ban on Jallikattu ( a bull-taming event).

    A. R. Rahman Tweet For Jallikattu

    A. R. Rahman Tweet For Jallikattu

  • In January 2018, he became the first-ever brand ambassador of Sikkim.

    A. R. Rahman in Sikkim

    A. R. Rahman in Sikkim

  • In August 2022, a street was named after A. R. Rahman in the city of Markham in Canada. In 2013, it was announced that a street will be named after him in the city. Following this honour, Rahman penned a note of gratitude to the authorities of Markham in Ontario, Canada on Twitter. [2]NDTV He wrote,

    I feel like this gives me immense responsibility to do much more and be inspiring, not so get tired and not to retire yet. Even if I get tired I’ll remember that I have more things to do, more people to connect, more bridges to cross.”

    A street in Canada has been named after AR Rahman

    A street in Canada has been named after AR Rahman

  • On 10 September 2023, A. R. Rahman performed at Adityaram Palace City in Chennai. The concert, however, turned out to be chaos as the post-event reports highlighted some mismanagement and disorder. After the event, attendees voiced their grievances about the event, citing issues such as traffic congestion near the venue and the disappointment of VIP ticket holders who had paid Rs. 50,000 but received no special treatment. Moreover, several women, through social media, alleged experiencing harassment within the crowd, though police officials later clarified that no formal complaints had been filed. In an interview, Rahman addressed these concerns and emphasised the urgent need for Chennai to upgrade its infrastructure to world-class standards, boost tourism, and enhance crowd and traffic management. In the interview, Rahman further disclosed that there were 46,000 chairs available at the venue, but the uneven seating distribution led on-duty police to mistakenly assume full capacity as a result of which they closed the venue. A. R. Rahman later took to social media through which he promised to refund the ticket costs for those who missed out on the concert.

    A. R. Rahman's post on X

    A. R. Rahman’s post on X

  • According to the playback singer Suresh Wadkar, he and A. R. Rahman once had a disagreement. While talking about this, in an interview, Wadkar mentioned that their working styles didn’t align well. Wadkar added that despite singing about two songs for Rahman, there was no communication or further collaboration between them. [3]The Indian Express
  • In May 2024, he revealed in an interview that his mother sold her jewellery to buy the first equipment for his music studio.