M. M. Keeravani Age, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Age: 61 Years
Wife: M. M. Srivalli
Hometown: Chennai

M. M. Keeravani

Full nameKoduri Marakathamani Keeravani [1]The Times of India
Other NamesMaragathamani, MM Kreem, Vedanarayana [2]The Times of India [3]The Hans India

Note: He uses his name MM Keeravani for Telugu films, and pseudonyms Maragathamani for Tamil and MM Kreem for his Hindi compositions.
Profession(s)Film composer, Playback Singer, Lyricist
Famous forComposing the song "Naatu Naatu" form the Telugu film RRR (2022)
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourSalt & Pepper
DebutAs a Film Composer
Telugu: Manasu Mamata (1990)
Hindi: Criminal (1995)

Note: Although he first worked as a composer for the film Kalki (1990), but the film never got released and the soundtrack also went unnoticed.
Awards, Honours, Achievements Academy Awards
• 2023 - Best Original Song award for ‘Naatu Naatu’ from “RRR”
Chandrabose and M. M. Keeravani accept the Best Original Song award for ‘Naatu Naatu’ from “RRR” onstage during the 95th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on 12 March 2023

Golden Globe Awards
• 2023 - Best Original Song for Nattu Nattu
M. M. Keeravani posing with his Golden Globe Award on 10 January 2023

National Film Awards
• 1997 – Best Music Direction for Annamayya

Filmfare Awards South
For Best Music Director – Telugu
• 1991: Kshana Kshanam
• 1993: Allari Priyudu
• 1994: Criminal
• 1995: Subha Sankalpam
• 1996: Pelli Sandadi
• 2009: Magadheera
• 2017: Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
• 2023: RRR
M. M. Keeravani while receiving the National Film Award from the President of India Droupadi Murmu
For Best Lyricist – Telugu
• 2017: Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

Nandi Awards
• 1992: Best Music Director for Rajeswari Kalyanam
• 1993: Best Music Director for Allari Priyudu
• 1995: Best Music Director for Pelli Sandadi
• 2001: Best Male Playback Singer for the song Ekkado Putti from Student No.1
• 2002: Best Music Director for Okato Number Kurradu
• 2005: Best Music Director for Chatrapathi
• 2009: Best Music Director for Vengamamba
• 2010: Best Male Playback Singer for the song Ammayi Kitiki pakkana from Maryada Ramanna
• 2012: Best Music Director for Eega
• 2015: Best Music Director for Baahubali: The Beginning
• 2015: Best Male Playback Singer for the song Sivuni Aana from Baahubali: The Beginning

Padma Awards
• 2023: Padma Shri [4]The Hindu

• 1991: Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director for Azhagan
• 2018: SIIMA Award for Best Music Director (Telugu) for Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
M. M. Keeravani receiving SIIMA Award for Best Music Director (Telugu) for Baahubali 2 The Conclusion in 2018
• 2023: Best Music Director (Telugu) Award for the film ‘RRR’ at the South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA), held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE, in September
Personal Life
Date of Birth4 July 1961 (Tuesday)
Age (as of 2022) 61 Years
BirthplaceKovvur, Andhra Pradesh, India
Zodiac signCancer
HometownChennai, Tamil Nadu
ReligionKreem believes in the philosophies of spiritual leaders Swami Sivananda and Osho, even though they may be contradictory. [5] In an interview, he said,
"Swami Sivananda says one must live with a goal. One must try to achieve it no matter how good or bad it is, while Osho says there is no goal -- there is only the path. Live life and celebrate each moment of the path. I manage to live by both. We have good and bad within ourselves, so we can live with contradictory philosophies."
He is also an ardent follower of Sri Raghavendra Swamy and regularly visits the his temple in Mantralayam. [6]Deccan Chronicle
ControversyLewd Remarks on Resul Pookutty
In 2022, he gained media attention for responding to a tweet by Oscar-winning sound engineer Resul Pookutty who had labelled the blockbuster film ‘RRR’ a “Gay Love Story." In response to Pookutty's tweet, Keeravani wrote,
"Maybe I am bad at using uppercase and lowercase letters while typing letters but I respect every person’s freedom of expression, including of Resul Pookutty.”
Although the statement seemed like an ordinary one, Keeravani had referred to him as “P*OKUtty.” Many familiar with Telugu swear words connected the dots and realised that the highlighted word was a form of a lewd comment on Pookutty. [7]The Times of India
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Marriage Date23 August
Wife/SpouseM. M. Srivalli (line producer in films)
M. M. Keeravani with his wife
ChildrenSon- Kaala Bhairava (singer), Sri Simha (actor)
Kaala Bhairava with his family
ParentsFather- Koduri Siva Shakthi Datta (painter, lyricist, screenwriter)
A picture of M. M. Keeravani's father, Shiva Shakthi Datta
Mother- Bhanumathi (deceased)
M. M. Keeravani's mother (center) in purple saari
SiblingsBrother- Kalyani Malik (music director, singer)
M. M. Keeravani with his brother, Kalyani Malik
Other RelativesCousin brother- S. S. Rajamouli (film director)
M. M. Keeravani and S. S. Rajamouli
Cousin sister- M. M. Srilekha (singer)
M. M. Srilekha
Paternal uncle- V. Vijayendra Prasad (S. S. Rajamouli's father) (screenwriter, film director)
K. V. Vijayendra Prasad with his son
Music Composer K V Mahadevan, M S Viswanathan, S D Burman, R D Burman, Bhimsen Joshi, Kishori Amonkar
Music GenreGhazals
AuthorStephen King
FilmHollywood- Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Phone Booth (2002), Coming to America (1988)
Bollywood- Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003)
SingerNusrat Fateh Ali Khan
FoodBisi bele Baath

M. M. Keeravani at Golden Globes Awards (2023)

Some Lesser Known Facts About M. M. Keeravani

  • M. M. Keeravani is an Indian film composer, playback singer, and lyricist. The legendary Pan-Indian musician predominantly works in Telugu cinema along with other languages including Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam. He is best known for composing the song Naatu Naatu for the 2022 Telugu film RRR for which he bagged the Golden Globe Award in 2023 in the category of Best Original Song. He has also won various accolades for composing the pan-India film Baahubali: The Beginning (2015).
  • He was named after the Carnatic rāgam Keeravani, his father’s favourite raga. [8]Deccan Chronicle
  • Intrigued by music since childhood, he started learning to play the violin when he was four. He has also received training in Indian classical music Carnatic raga, learning to play the violin in Carnatic and Hindustani styles. He is trained in playing multiple instruments, including the harmonium. In an interview, while talking about the same he said,

    From the beginning, I was interested in music. So, my father sent me to a music teacher and I learned music from a very young age.”

  • Growing up, he had an appetite for songs on the radio, especially RD Burman. At the age of 10, Keeravani began to travel with a band from Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. He would often perform Laxmikant Pyarelal’s Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai on the violin and give solo performances.
  • Keeravani belongs to a Telugu family hailing from Kovvur. [9]The Indian Express Later, Siva Shakthi Datta’s passion for films made the family shift to Madras (now Chennai). At that time, Keeravani completed his intermediate studies. Although Datta assisted a couple of directors for some time and started a film titled Pillanagrovi, he stopped midway due to financial reasons.

    M.M Keeravani, S.S Rajamouli, Bose Naannagaru, Bharathi Pinni (M. M. Srilekha's parents), and Keeravani's sister Sapthami (1976)

    M.M Keeravani, S.S Rajamouli, Bose Naannagaru, Bharathi Pinni (M. M. Srilekha’s parents), and Keeravani’s sister Sapthami (1976)

  • Keeravani faced a ton of struggles during the initial stages of his illustrious career. In the beginning, aspiring to be a musician, Keeravani would approach several filmmakers and deliver his sample tunes in the form of cassettes. He also conducted an orchestra on a freelance basis.
  • To make ends meet, he joined as an assistant music director to noted Telugu composer K Chakravarthy and Malayalam composer C. Rajamani in 1987. Talking about his work with Chakravarthy, in an interview, he said,

    I do not remember exactly, because at that time he was doing ten films all at once! That was about the time of Yuddhabhumi, around 1987. I remember doing for the films like Collector Gaarabbaai and Bharatamlo Arjundu at that time. I worked with him for almost ten years. I then worked with Veturi gaaru for one year.”

    His association with lyricist Veturi was also fruitful and took him places.

    M. M. Keeravani in his early adulthood

    M. M. Keeravani in his early adulthood

  • In the late 1980s, he provided assistance in the Telugu films such as Collector Gari Abbai and Bharatamlo Arjunudu.
  • Keeravani’s first big break as an independent music composer came in 1990 with the film Kalki, but as the film never got released.
  • Keeravani has had various hits in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi back in the early 1990s. He came into the limelight as a composer with director T. S. B. K. Moulee’s 1990 film Manasu Mamatha.
  • He gained popularity in Telugu cinema with Ram Gopal Varma’s 1991 blockbuster Kshana Kshanam, which fetched him his first Filmfare Award (South). All the songs in the film went on to become instant chartbusters, especially Jaamu Rathiri and Ammayi Muddu.

    From left to right, Siva Nageswara Rao (director), M. M. Keeravani, Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry (lyricist), Teja (assistant director), and a crew member while they were working on the film Kshana Kshanam (1991)

    From left to right, Siva Nageswara Rao (director), M. M. Keeravani, Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry (lyricist), Teja (assistant director), and a crew member while they were working on the film Kshana Kshanam (1991)

  • Other popular Telugu films composed by him include Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu (1991), Gharana Mogudu (1992), Sundarakanda (1992), Allari Mogudu (1992), Aapadbandhavudu (1992), Matru Devo Bhava (1993 ), Major Chandrakanth (1993), Pelli Sandadi (1996), and Pavitra Bandham (1996).
  • The Telugu devotional blockbuster film Annamayya (1997) earned MM Keeravani the National Award for Best Music Direction.
  • As a playback singer, he lent his voice to the song Raalipoyye Poovva from the Telugu film Matru Devo Bhava (1993).
  • Following his success in South cinema, Keeravani forayed into Bollywood with the Telugu-Hindi action-thriller Criminal (1995), directed by Mahesh Bhatt. Criminal’s popular track Tu Mile Dil Khile was inspired by the 1994 single ‘Age of Loneliness’ by the band Enigma.
  • In 2003, he composed one of the biggest Telugu dance hits Chiraku Anuko featuring NTR Jr in the Rajamouli film Simhadri (2003). The song was heavily inspired by the Eurodance track Cotton Eye Joe.
  • Some of his popular compositions in Bollywood include Chup Tum Raho from Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996), Gali Mein Aaj Chaand Nikla from Zakhm (1998), O Saathiya from Saaya (2003), Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai from Jism (2003), and Aa Bhi Jaa from Sur (2002). He is also known for his work as a composer in the Bollywood films Rog (2005), Dhokha (2007), and Special 26 (2013).
  • Keeravani and film director SS Rajamouli, the director of the popular pan-India film series Baahubali, are cousins who hail from a single joint family. Keeravani has composed the music for all the films directed by Rajamouli. The soundtracks in their 11 collaborations were a hit. One of those collaborations was for the music and background for Baahubali. Keeravani composed the Telugu as well as Hindi versions of the film and also voiced the songs ‘Sivuni Aana’ and ‘Nippule Swasaga’ in its Telugu version. While the film earned him several accolades in the category of Best Music Director, the songs accumulated him awards in the category of Best Male Playback Singer. He is also the lyricist of the songs Oka praanam, Kannaa nidurinchara, and Dandaalayyaa featured in the Telugu version of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.
  • In 2022, he rose to prominence for composing the epic action drama Telugu film RRR, which featured the crowd-puller song Naatu Naatu. On 10 January 2023, Keeravani received the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for Naatu Naatu.

    RRR team, Jr NTR, MM Keeravani, SS Rajamouli, and Ram Charan, at the 80th Golden Globe Awards

    RRR’s team, Jr NTR, MM Keeravani, SS Rajamouli, and Ram Charan, at the 80th Golden Globe Awards

  • Once while interacting with AISFM Students, M. M. Keeravani said that he wanted to go to Japan and compose music for a Japanese film.
  • He is fond of all kinds of music except Qawwalis.
  • A versatile musician, Keeravani has crafted devotional songs, dance hits, tender lullabies, and lilting ballads of love and loss, drawing from Hindustani and Carnatic ragas and Western classical influences, using his beloved harmonium and violin.
  • After accepting the Academy Award for Best Original Song for ‘Naatu Naatu’ from “RRR” at the 95th Annual Academy Awards, while delivering his acceptance speech in the form of a re-written Carpenters song, Keeravani said,

    I grew up listening to The Carpenters and now here I am with the Oscars. There was only one wish on my mind, so was Rajamouli’s and our families’… ‘RRR’ has to win… Pride of every Indian… must put me on the top of the world.” [10]The Hindu