Date of Birth6 January 1966, Madras, Tamil Nadu, India (now Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)Birth NameA.S. Dileep KumarNicknameThe Mozart of MadrasIsai PuyalMini BiographyAllah Rakha Rahman was born A.S. Dileep Kumar on January 6, 1966, in Madras (now Chennai), India, to a musically affluent family. Dileep started learning the piano at the age of 4, and at the age of 9, his father passed away. Since the pressure of supporting his family fell on him, he joined Ilayaraja's troupe as a keyboard player at the age of 11. He dropped out of school as a result of this and traveled all around the world with various orchestras.He accompanied the great tabla maestro Zakir Hussain on a few world tours and also won a scholarship at the Trinity College of Music at Oxford University, where he studied Western classical music and obtained a degree in music. Due to some personal crisis, Dileep Kumar embraced Islam and came to be known as A.R. Rahman. In 1987, he moved to advertising, where he composed more than 300 jingles over 5 years. In 1989, he started a small studio called Panchathan Record Inn, which later developed into one of the most well-equipped and advanced sound recording studios in India.At an advertising awards function, Rahman met one of India's most famous directors, Mani Ratnam. Rahman played him a few of his music samples. Mani loved them so much that he asked Rahman to compose the music for his next film, Roja (1992). The rest, as they say, is history. He went on to compose several great hits for Tamil-language films before composing the score and songs for his first Hindi-language film, Bollywood Dreams (1995). The enormous success of his first Hindi venture was followed by the chart-topping soundtrack albums of films such as Bombay (1995) , Dil Se.. (1998), Taal (1999), Zubeidaa (2001), and Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001), which was nominated for best foreign-language film at the 2002 Academy Awards.