Greatest Indian Music Composers of All Time

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The musical history of India is extensive and diverse, dating back thousands of years. Indian music has attracted listeners all around the world, from traditional Hindustani and Carnatic music to the catchy sounds of Bollywood cinema songs. This article tries to examine the best Indian musical composers of all time, whose compositions have influenced Indian culture and helped shape the evolution of Indian music. We will dig deeper into these composers’ lives and accomplishments, spotlighting their most important compositions and talking about their musical idioms and legacies. As we commemorate the greatest Indian composers of all time, come along on this musical trip with us.

List of Indian Music Composers

1. A. R. Rahman

Rahman in 2019

Birthdate: January 6, 1967

Sun Sign: Capricorn

Birthplace: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

An Indian film composer, performer, songwriter, and record producer by the name of A. R. Rahman. One of the most honored and well-known musicians in Indian history is Rahman. In addition to two Grammy Awards, two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a BAFTA Award, he also received many other notable honors. He was listed as one of Time magazine’s top 100 important people in 2009.

2. S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

Balasubrahmanyam in 2019

Birthdate: June 4, 1946

Sun Sign: Gemini

Birthplace: Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India

Deceased: 25 September 2020

Playback singer, music director, actor, television host, film producer, and voice actor P. Balasubrahmanyam was from India. Balasubrahmanyam, who was widely considered as one of his generation’s most talented vocalists, won six National Film Awards throughout his distinguished five-decade singing career. The second-highest civilian award in India, the Padma Vibhushan, was given to him posthumously.

3. Anirudh Ravichander

Anirudh in 2018

Birthdate: October 16, 1990

Sun Sign: Libra

Birthplace: Chennai

Indian singer and film composer Anirudh Ravichander. When his debut song Why This Kolaveri Di went popular online in 2012, he attained global notoriety. Anirudh has now gained prominence as a composer in the Tamil cinema industry. He has won several important honors throughout the years, including Edison Awards, Vijay Awards, and Mirchi Music Awards South.

4. G. V. Prakash Kumar

Kumar in 2015

Birthdate: June 13, 1987

Sun Sign: Gemini

Birthplace: Chennai

Indian cinema composer, singer, producer, and actor G. V. Prakash Kumar is also an actor. Prakash Kumar began his career as an actor after beginning it as a music composer for Tamil movies. Prakash Kumar, one of the most well-known music composers in the Tamil cinema business, has won several honors including Filmfare Awards South and MTV Awards.

5. Sonu Nigam

Nigam in 2013

Birthdate: July 30, 1973

Sun Sign: Leo

Birthplace: Faridabad

Sonu Nigam is an Indian musician, performer, and director of the theater. Sonu, also known as The Lord of Chords, is considered as one of the finest live performers in the entire world. More than 4000 songs in numerous Indian languages are ascribed to him as recordings. Additionally, he has received several honors, including Filmfare, National, and Indian Television Academy awards.

6. Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Bhansali in 2021

Birthdate: February 24, 1963

Sun Sign: Pisces

Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Indian filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is renowned for his rich settings, star-studded casts, and epic romantic and historical drama movies like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, and Bajirao Mastani. In addition to five National Film Awards, the recipient also possesses a Padma Shri.

7. Yo Yo Honey Singh

Yo Yo Honey Singh 2014

Birthdate: March 15, 1983

Sun Sign: Pisces

Birthplace: Jalandhar

Yo Yo Honey Singh is an Indian rapper, pop singer, music producer, writer, actor, and composer. He is presently among the best-known and highest-paid musicians in India’s music business. In addition to the Zee Cine Award, he has won the MTV VMAI Award, MTV EMA Award, UK Asian Music Award, BritAsia TV Music Award, and UK Asian Music Award.

8. Rahul Dev Burman

Burman in 1981

Birthdate: June 27, 1939

Sun Sign: Cancer

Birthplace: Kolkata

Dead as of January 4, 1994

An Indian composer and music director, Rahul Dev Burman. He is recognized as one of the most influential musicians in Indian music history. Songs he wrote are credited for helping vocalists like Kishore Kumar establish their careers. A new generation of Indian music directors has been influenced by his works. 

9. Kumar Sanu

Kumar sanu colors Indian Telly awards

Birthdate: September 23, 1957

Sun Sign: Libra

Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Born Kedarnath Bhattacharaya, Kumar Sanu became known as the King of Melody in Bollywood. One of the best playback singers in Indian history, he made the 1990s memorable with songs like Kuch Na Kaho and Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen. The Padma Shri laureate and fellow vocalist Alka Yagnik had a number of successful duets.

10. Bappi Lahiri

Lahiri at the recording of a song in 2005

Birthdate: November 27, 1952

Sun Sign: Sagittarius

Birthplace: Kolkata

Dead as of 16 February 2022

An Indian singer and songwriter, Bappi Lahiri. He made the usage of synthetic disco music in Indian movies more common. His work in dance movies like Dance Dance and Disco Dancer helped him gain prominence in the 1980s and 1990s. 

11. Alka Yagnik

Alka Yagnik

Birthdate: March 20, 1966

Sun Sign: Pisces

Birthplace: Kolkata

Playback vocalist from India, Alka Yagnik. In her distinguished career spanning more than 40 years, Yagnik, one of the most well-known female playback singers in Bollywood, has won a record seven Filmfare Awards and two National Film Awards. In addition to these honors, Alka Yagnik has also received Zee Cine Awards, Global Indian Film Awards, and Bollywood Movie Awards.

12. Vijay Antony

Vijay Antony during a photoshoot pf Pichaikkaran

Birthdate: July 24, 1975

Sun Sign: Leo

Birthplace: Nagercoil

Vijay Antony began his career as a sound engineer before progressing to become a well-known music director in the Tamil cinema industry. He was first recognized for his music in movies like Vettaikaaran and Kadhalil Vizhunthen, but with Naan, he transitioned into acting. At Cannes, he received the Golden Lion for his song Naaka Mukka.

13. Badshah

Badshah in 2018

Birthdate: November 19, 1985

Sun Sign: Scorpio

Birthplace: New Delhi, India

Singer, rapper, businessman, and producer of motion pictures, Badshah. As one of India’s highest-paid musicians, Badshah is also recognized as one of the country’s most divisive rappers. Despite being controversial, Genda Phool is one of the most popular songs in Indian history. He has been on Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list three times.

14. Shankar Mahadevan

Mahadevan performing in 2009

Birthdate: March 3, 1967

Sun Sign: Pisces

Birthplace: Chembur

A vocalist and composer for Indian movies, Shankar Mahadevan. He is one of the three members of the well-known musical trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, which mostly writes music for Bollywood movies. Three National Film Awards for Best Male Playback Singer have been given to renowned playback singer Mahadevan. Shankar Mahadevan received the Padma Shri award in 2019 in recognition of his contributions to cinema music. 

15. M.M. Keeravaani

Keeravani in 2015

Birthdate: July 4, 1961

Sun Sign: Cancer

Birthplace: Kovvur

An Indian playback vocalist, composer, and lyricist by the name of M.M. Keeravaani. Keeravani, one of the most well-known and honored music directors in Telugu cinema, has won 11 Nandi Awards, eight Filmfare Awards, and a National Film Award. He has written the music over the years for well-liked and profitable films including Baahubali.

16. Yuvan Shankar Raja

Raja in 2013

Birthdate: August 31, 1979

Sun Sign: Virgo

Birthplace: Chennai, India

Singer-songwriter and music composer Yuvan Shankar Raja. He is credited with introducing hip-hop to the Tamil music business, and in the 2000s, he rose to prominence as one of the genre’s most in-demand composers. He became the first Indian composer to win the Cyprus International Film Festival Award in 2006 with his victory. He has also received additional honors, such as the South Filmfare Awards.

17. Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar

Laxmikant (left) - Pyarelal (right)

Birthdate: November 3, 1937

Sun Sign: Scorpio

Birthplace: Mumbai, India

Died on 25 May 1998.

Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar, a member of the renowned Indian music composition team Laxmikant-Pyarelal, had a difficult upbringing in the Mumbai slums and went on to dominate the Hindi cinema music business for decades. After his father passed away, he turned to music to help support his family, and he hasn’t looked back.

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