An obvious choice for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, Indian music composer Allah Rakkha Rahman created history at the 81st Academy Awards by bagging two awards for the rags-to-riches tale Slumdog Millionaire, which won eight Oscars.
Rahman won the awards in his third Oscar nomination. He shared the award for Best Song "Jai Ho" with renowned lyricist Gulzar. This was the first Academy Award nomination for Gulzar.
A delighted Rahman after receiving the awards hailed all the people from India and said, "I just want to thank the whole crew of 'Slumdog Millionaire' especially Danny Boyle for giving me such a great opportunity."
"I want to thank everyone. The essence of film is about Optimism and the power of hope in our lives. All my life I had a choice of hate and love. I chose love, and I am here," the music maestro added.
Overall, the film won eight wards out of the ten it was nominated for. Slumdog Millionaire, won eight Oscar awards for best feature film, direction, original song, original score, sound mixing, editing, adapted screenplay and cinematography.
With this, Rahman became the third Indian to win an Oscar, after costume designer Bhanu Athaiya for her work in Gandhi in 1983 and the prominent director Satyajit Ray (Lifetime Achievement) in 1992.
Rahman had earlier bagged the Golden Globe and a BAFTA for the same work done in the Danny Boyle directed film. In a career spanning over a decade, he has received many national and international recognitions and has achieved an extraordinary feat of selling over 100 million records of his film scores and soundtracks worldwide.
The prolific music director is also regarded as one of the few Indian music composers to be so popular outside the country. Rahman, who plays keyboard, piano, synthesizer, harmonium and guitar, is identified for his trademark film music whose end product is an amalgamation of old Hindustani Raga - Indian Classical Raagas and the western forms.
Rahman's most popular film score till date is the Mani Ratnam directed 'Roja' in 1992. At that time, he was a keyboard player with composer Illayaraja, since then Rahman brought a whole new dimension to Indian music with his innovative sound design by the use of traditional instruments and new electronic sound technologies.