A.R. Rahman, 49, one of the most globally popular Indian music icons, was recently honoured with the Tamil Ratna Award by the New York based Tamil Sangam.

A.R. Rahman, famously known as the Mozart of Madras, was honoured with this award after his concert at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) chamber. He also became the second Indian artiste after legendary Carnatic music vocalist M S Subbulakshmi to perform at the UN General Assembly hall on the occasion of India’s 70th Independence Day celebrations.

The concert was sponsored by India’s UN Mission and Sankara Nethralaya, a Chennai-based charity devoted restoring vision through treatment and medical education and research.

The previous recipients of Tamil Ratna Award include Bharatha Natyam exponent Kamala Lakshman, Tamil movie director Bharathi Raja and mathematician Srinivasa Varadhan.

Described by the prestigious Time as “the world’s most prolific and popular composer”, the noted Indian music composer has provided musical scores predominantly for Tamil and Hindi films apart from a few films in other regional film industries of India and international productions. Rahman started his movie career with Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film Roja. Rahman’s first big break in Hindi cinema came with Ram Gopal Varma’s Rangeela. He is now one of the most sought after composers in India with his brilliant compositions for films like Bombay, Dil Se, Taal, Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, Delhi 6, Rockstar, Highway and Tamasha.

Few of his several international accolades include the two Academy Awards (famously known as Oscars), two Grammy Awards, one each BAFTA and the Golden Globe Award. As of 2016, Rahman has also garnered four National Film Awards, 15 Filmfare Awards and 15 Filmfare Awards south, a record for an Indian composer.

by Ashwani Srivastva

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