- AR Rahman turns 55 years-old-today
- AR Rahman made his music debut with ‘Roja’ in 1992
- AR Rahman won an Oscar Award for his song ‘Jai Ho’
Happy birthday, AR Rahman. The world-renowned musician needs no introduction. After presenting the country with timeless songs across languages, the composer went on to conquer the world with an Oscar Award for his song Jai Ho. Known as the “Mozart of Madras”, AR Rahman has been a favourite among fans for over 30 years now. With Mani Ratnam’s Roja in 1992, AR Rahman proved in his debut album that he is here to stay. Over the years, the musician has composed and sung songs of love, loss, devotion, camaraderie and patriotism. His voice and music have successfully transcended the boundaries of languages and cultures.
On his 55th birthday, we embark on the rather Herculean task of putting together a list of (just) 10 of AR Rahman’s evergreen songs. Take a look at some of our picks from the composer’s elaborate repertoire.
- Yeh Haseen Waadiyaan – Roja
We had to start the list with AR Rahman’s debut album. The album is replete with several classic numbers and it is tough to pick one. But Yeh Haseen Waadiyaan has been a cult favourite for decades now. The song’s Tamil version, Pudhu Vellai Mazhai is just as – if not more – popular.
- Tu Hi Re- Bombay
Mani Ratnam’s Bombay is another example of AR Rahman’s musical genius. The film has several lovely songs that have been celebrated by generations. On top of the list is the love ballad Tu Hi Re, sung by Hariharan and Kavita Krishnamurthy.
- Maa Tujhe Salaam (Vande Mataram)
If you were in school when this album was released, chances are you danced to this song on Independence Day or Republic Day. The patriotic number is sure to give you goosebumps thanks to AR Rahman’s unique voice.
- Chaiyya Chaiyya – Dil Se
Another gem from the Mani Ratnam – AR Rahman vault, Chaiyya Chaiyya is iconic for many reasons. As Sukhwinder Singh breathed life into AR Rahman’s tune, Gulzar made the song unforgettable with his lyrics. Also, who can forget Shah Rukh Khan and Malaika Arora dancing on top of a train?
- Chale Chalo – Lagaan
Another song that instils a sense of pride and patriotism in the listener is Chale Chalo from Lagaan. While the lyrics are by Javed Akhtar, AR Rahman and Srinivas’ vocals inspire you to sing along and celebrate. The composer won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the album.
- Luka Chuppi – Rang De Basanti
Another classic album, Rang De Basanti has many iconic songs. From Masti Ki Paathshaala to Roobaroo, there are many songs that have stood the test of time. But if we had to pick one, it would be the heartbreaking Luka Chuppi sung by the legendary Lata Mangeshkar along with A. R. Rahman.
- Khwaja Mere Khwaja – Jodhaa Akbar
This spiritual song is one that brings to the fore AR Rahman’s singing and composing prowess. Khwaja Mere Khwaja from Jodhaa Akbar is beautiful and powerful all at once. A worthy addition to any playlist.
- Tum Tak – Raanjhanaa
The first pangs of love never sounded so beautiful as it does in this track from Raanjhanaa. Tum Tak is a celebration of love as well as the beloved. Sung by Javed Ali, Tum Tak grows on you each time you listen to it.
- Kun Faaya Kun- Rockstar
Kun Faaya Kun shares the same ethos and soul as Khwaja Mera Khwaja. The exquisite qawwali track has been sung by a host of talented singers like Javed Ali, Mohit Chauhan, Nizami Brothers, and of course AR Rahman.
- Agar Tum Sath Ho- Tamasha
Agar Tum Sath Ho from Imtiaz Ali’s Tamasha is one song in the recent past that has enjoyed unanimous love from the audience. Featuring Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor in a heartwrenching scene, Alka Yagnik and Arijit Singh’s vocals make the song unforgettable.
Since we know a list of 10 songs would hardly do justice to AR Rahman’s work, we urge you to drop your favourite tracks in the comments section.