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Difference Between Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman

Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman are two of the legendary and most prolific music composers of the Indian music industry. Both are Indian music industry’s veterans who share a common passion for creating soulful and memorable music. Their contributions to the Indian music industry have been immense, and they continue to inspire generations of musicians and music lovers alike. Besides, there are some notable differences between the two music maestros.


Ilaiyaraaja is a legendary Indian musician, composer, and singer known for his prolific contributions to the Tamil and Indian music industry. He was one of the earliest film composers to use Western classical music string and harmonies in Tamil film music. He has had a tremendous career spanning over four decades. Throughout his career, he has composed music for over 1300 films and has released countless albums. His unique style of blending Indian classical music with Western music has won him numerous awards, including four National Film Awards and several Filmfare Awards. His valuable and exemplary contributions have cemented his position as one of the most influential figures in Indian music.

AR Rahman

AR Rahman needs no introduction. He is the man who has redefined contemporary Indian music and left an indelible mark on the global music scene. He is a prolific composer, singer, and songwriter who have had numerous awards and accolades under his portfolio. Rahman is best known for his innovative style of blending Indian classical music with electronic music. He predominantly works in Tamil and Hindi films. He rose to international fame with his Academy Award-winning soundtrack for the movie Slumdog Millionaire, which showcased his versatility and mastery of various musical genres. Rahman has won several prestigious awards, including six National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and a BAFTA Award. His music continues to inspire and enchant audiences worldwide.

Difference between Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman

Music Style

– Both are undoubtedly pioneers of the Indian music industry who share a common passion for creating soulful and memorable music. Ilaiyaraaja is known for his experimental and innovative approach to music, which involves the use of an orchestration technique that is a blend of Indian classical music and western elements. AR Rahman, on the other hand, is adept at several genres, including Qawwali and Hindustani music. Rahman’s music involves a fusion of traditional Indian music with electronic and world music elements.

International Recognition

– While Rahman has worked on a fewer films than Ilaiyaraaja, who have done over 1300 films in multiple languages, Rahman has achieved international recognition. Rahman has won the Oscar for original score and original song in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire in 2009, and nominated for the Best Original Score for 127 Hours in 2011. Ilaiyaraaja has a tremendous following in India and some parts of the world.


– AR Rahman has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including 15 Filmfare Awards, six National Film Awards, one BAFTA Award, two Grammy Awards, and two Academy Awards. Ilaiyaraaja has received national recognitions for his contribution to Indian music industry, including five National Film Awards, 19 Filmfare Awards South, 17 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, and Padma Vibhushan (2018). Rahman has been honored with Padma Bhushan in 2010 and Padma Shri in 2000. 

Ilaiyaraaja vs. AR Rahman: Comparison Chart


While Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman have different styles and approaches to music, they both share a common passion for creating soulful and memorable melodies. Their contributions to the Indian music industry have been immense, and they continue to inspire generations of musicians and music lovers alike. Ilaiyaraaja is a veteran composer who started his career in the late 1970s and has composed music for over 1300 films in various languages. AR Rahman, on the other hand, is a relatively newer entrant to the music industry. He gained fame with his debut soundtrack for the movie Roja in 1992 and has since then become a household name in the Indian music scene.

What is another name of AR Rahman?

AR Rahman is also known as the God of Music for his versatility and master in various musical genres.

Why Ilaiyaraaja is so great?

Ilaiyaraaja revolutionized the Indian film music by blending Indian classical music, Western classical music and folk music. He continues to be a major influence on Indian music and remains one of the most respected musicians in the industry.

How many films AR Rahman worked with Ilaiyaraaja?

It is believed that AR Rahman has worked in nearly 500 films with Ilaiyaraaja before he started composing music, starting with the movie Roja in 1992.

Why is Allah called Al Rahman?

In Islam, Allah is referred to as “Ar-Rahman,” which means “The Most Gracious.” This is one of the most common names used to describe Allah in the Quran, which is the holy scripture of Islam. It is a reminder for Muslims to approach Allah with humility, gratitude, and love.

What does ya Rahman mean?

“Ya Rahman” is an Arabic phrase commonly used in Islamic prayers and supplications. It is derived from the Arabic name for God, “Ar-Rahman,” which means “The Most Gracious.” “Ya” is an Arabic word used to call upon someone or address them directly.

Who is better AR Rahman or Ilaiyaraaja?

Both are legendary musical maestros and highly talented who have made a great mark on the Indian music industry. Both have their unique styles and approaches to music, and their work have got a national recognition by critics and people alike. So, it is not possible to say who is better.

How much is AR Rahman paid?

How much Rahman is paid depends on many factors such as budget of the film, his experience, budget of the record label, and more. However, as a highly acclaimed music composer, it can be assumed that he charges a substantial fee.

Who is costly singer in India?

Shreya Ghoshal is one of the highest paid singers in the Indian music industry, along with others like Arijit Singh, Mika Singh, Guru Randhawa, etc.

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References :

[0]Mehta, Rini Bhattacharya. Unruly Cinema: History, Politics, and Bollywood. Illinois, United States: University of Illinois Press, 2020. Print

[1]Sarrazin, Natalie. Focus: Popular Music in Contemporary India. England, UK: Routledge, 2019. Print

[2]Sayeed, Ahmed. You Could Be the Winner (Volume - II). Chhattisgarh, India: Sankalp Publication, 2019. Print

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