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Shankar Mahadevan

Shankar Mahadevan

Early life

Mahadevan was born and raised in Chembur, a suburb of Mumbai, into a Tamil Iyer family from Palakkad, Kerala. He learned Hindustani classical and Carnatic music in childhood, and began playing the veena at age five. Mahadevan studied music under Shrinivas Khale, a Marathi composer, and attended Our Lady of Perpetual Succour High School in Chembur. He subsequently attended SIES College in Sion, completing his HSC. Mahadevan graduated in 1988 with a degree in computer science and software engineering from the Ramrao Adik Institute of Technology in Navi Mumbai, affiliated with Mumbai University, and was a software engineer for Oracle. His wife Sangeeta is Maharashtrian and son Siddharth Mahadevan, also a singer, made his debut on the 2013 Bhaag Milkha Bhaag song "Zinda". Now he lives in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Mahadevan is fluent in Marathi,Malayalam,Tamil, Hindi, Urdu and English.


After working for Leading Edge Systems, Mahadevan ventured into music. Mahadevan was noted for the release of his first album (Breathless) in 1998. The album's title track was engineered to seem to be sung in one breath, hence its title. He later ventured into music direction and became part of the Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy trio, composing for Hindi films. He received his first award as a playback singer in a Tamil movie, collaborating with A. R. Rahman and winning a National Film Award for Kandukondain Kandukondain. Well-known in the Kodambakkam film industry,Mahadevan has sung in many films for A. R. Rahman, Anu Malik and other music directors; his songs include "Urvashi Take It Easy" from Humse Hai Muqabla (1995), "I Love You" from Auzaar (1997) and "Kay Sera Sera" from Pukar (2000). He has composed most of his Hindi songs (as part of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy), and has sung Tamil songs by a number of composers. Mahadevan has also sung in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi (for composers including Shridhar Phadke and Ajay-Atul) and other regional languages. He was part of the fusion jazz band Silk, with Louis Banks on keyboards, Sivamani on percussion, Sridhar Parthasarathy on mridangam and Karl Peters on bass.Mahadevan has also sung for Remember Shakti, featuring Zakir Hussain, Chandan Sharma, John McLaughlin, U. Srinivas and V. Selvaganesh. He was music director for School Chale Hum on Doordarshan and a mentor on the Zee TV musical reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2009.Mahadevan is a team captain, judge and mentor on the Star Plus musical show Music Ka Maha Muqqabla for the Shankar's Rockstars team, which won Music Ka Maha Muqqabala 2010. In 2008 and 2010 he performed at PULSE, India's second-largest intercollegiate festival, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. In March 2009 Mahadevan performed at Ragam 09, an intercollegiate cultural festival hosted by the National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NITC) in Kerala. In February 2010 he performed at Kuruksastra 10, an intercollegiate cultural festival hosted by the SASTRA University, Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.In March 2011 Mahadevan began the Shankar Mahadevan Academy, which offers tutorials and virtual vocal courses in Carnatic and Hindustani classical music, religious chanting, Indian folk music and Bollywood songs. He was invited by UNESCO and the US State Department to perform at the UN General Assembly hall for the finale of the International Jazz Festival on 30 April 2012. Mahadevan is a mentor on the Zee TV musical reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2012.In 2013 the singer, Ehsaan and Loy performed a well-received, five-hour benefit concert for Lok Biradari Prakalp in Nagpur. On 7 February they performed at the day-two Pro Show of Riviera 2013 (the intercollegiate cultural festival of VIT University), Mahadevan's third performance at the campus. On 17 March 2013 he performed at Ragam 13, his second appearance at the festival. He also sang Telugu songs in movies such as Attarintiki Daredi, Gabbar Singh, Dookudu, etc.


  • 2000: Best Male Playback Singer - "Yenna Solla Pogirai" (Kandukondain Kandukondain)
  • 2004: Best Music Direction - Kal Ho Naa Ho (as part of Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy)
  • 2008: Best Male Playback Singer - "Maa" (Taare Zameen Par)
  • 2012: Best Male Playback Singer - "Bolo Na" (Chittagong)
  • 2008: Kerala State Film Award for Best Singer - "Kalyaana Kacheri" (Madampi)
  • 2008: Nandi Award for Best Male Playback Singer - Venkatadri
  • 2013: Nominated—SIIMA Award for Best Male Playback Singer - "Akasam Ammayaithe" (Gabbar Singh)
  • 2002: Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent for Dil Chahta Hai (as part of Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy)
  • 2003: Best Music Direction for Kal Ho Naa Ho (as part of Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy)
  • 2005: Best Music Direction for Bunty Aur Babli (as part of Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy)
  • 2005: Best Playback Singer for "Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana"
  • 2000: Nominated for Best Background Music for Mission Kashmir (as part of Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy)
  • 2001: Best Music Direction for Dil Chahta Hai (as part of Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy)
  • 2005: Best Music Direction for Bunty aur Babli (as part of Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy)
  • 2009: Nominated for Best Music Direction for Rock On!! (as part of Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy)
  • 2007: Swaralaya-Kairali-Yesudas Award for outstanding contribution to Indian film music
  • 2009: Asianet Film Award for Best Male Playback - "Pichavecha Naal" (Puthiya Mukham)
  • 2009: Annual Malayalam Movie Awards (Dubai) for Best Male Singer - "Pichavecha Naal" (Puthiya Mukham)
  • 2011: Lata Mangeshkar Award on 28 September
  • 2011: Kerala Film Critics Award for Best Male Playback Singer - "Indhumukhi Varumo" (Holidays)
  • 2012: MAA Music Award for Best Male Playback Singer - "Nee Dookudu" (Dookudu)


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