This composer lost father at 9, faced extreme poverty, mother sold jewellery to support him, now his net worth is…

This composer lost father at 9, faced extreme poverty, mother sold jewellery to support him, now his net worth is…

Did you know that AR Rahman earned Rs 50 as his first salary, for operating a record player? He didn’t go to college and would work in double shifts in his teens to support his family.

AR Rahman is arguably India’s biggest music composer of our time. The musical genius has taken India to the global stage and won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, six National Film Awards, 15 Filmfare and 17 Filmfare South. Today, AR Rahman is the most expensive music composer in India, but there was a phase in his life when he couldn’t even purchase equipment for his studio, not even an amplifier or a recorder. 

When 12-year-old Rahman couldn’t afford college, and used to hang out with elders

AR Rahman was seen celebrating the success of his latest work, Amar Singh Chamkila with director Imtiaz Ali, singer Mohit Chauhan, and lyricist Irshad Kamil. In a candid conversation, Rahman shed light on his early years and revealed that he couldn’t go to college, and didn’t have the money to support his dream of becoming a music composer. 

Recalling the time when he discovered music as a child. Rahman shared, “I had a lot of questions. I didn’t go to college so I felt like I was missing something. When I was 12 years old, I used to meet people in their 40s and 50s. My boredom led me to listen to many other things, to know what was on the other side. That was fantastic.”

When AR Rahman’s mom sold her jewellery to support him

When Ali asked Rahaman to share his inspirations, or musical artistes that he admired, the latter revealed, “Micheal Jackson and John Williams, Morricone, and Maurice Jarre. Then you could realise what could you do after my studio came. I didn’t have money to buy an equalizer or amplifier.” 

Rahman further revealed that his studio just had an AC, and a shelf with a carpet, and he used to sit there, not having money to buy anything. The music composer got his first recorder after his mother mortgaged her jewellery. “My first recorder came after my mom gave her jewels to be pledged,” Rahman said that after that moment he felt empowered, and it changed his life. 

AR Rahman’s struggling childhood

When AR Rahman was 9 years old, his father died. After the big loss, the financial condition of his house became very bad. Reportedly his mother used to run the house by lending his father’s musical instruments. At the age of just 11, AR Rahman used to play synthesizer for ‘Rahman Band Roots’ with his childhood friend Shivmani. He also had an important contribution to the establishment of Chennai’s band ‘Nemesis Avenue’. He could also play piano, harmonium and guitar. In an interview with TOI, Rahman revealed that in his first salary, he earned Rs 50, for operating a record player. Today, Rahman is among the most-expensive musical artistes in India. As per Jagran English, AR Rahman’s net worth is $280 million (Rs 23,381,792,000, Rs 2338 crores). 

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