“I Felt Like Struck By A Thunderbolt” : AR Rahman On His Meeting With Michael Jackson

It was on the morning of February 23, 2009, India woke up to the news of composer AR Rahman winning not one but two Oscars for his score for director Danny Boyle’s film, “Slumdog Millionaire”. From a school dropout leading a  struggled childhood, who eked out a living playing piano for Music composer Illayaraja to winning two Oscars, Rahman’s life is nothing less than that of a fairytale.  Rahman once recalled the memorable meeting he had with Michael Jackson soon after his historic win.

Recently when asked about his life before and after winning Oscars Rahman remembered his cherished meeting with the legendary Michael Jackson. He noted that he concocted a test for his then Hollywood agent Sam Schwartz to see what he was capable of. “I asked him whether he can arrange a meeting with Michael Jackson. And he looked at his friend, who said, he can send an email to Michael Jackson,” Rahman said.

However, for weeks Rahman did not hear back from his agent about his request. He also got busy with Oscar promotions at the time and concluded that the meeting was never happening. Four days before the Oscars, Rahman was told, “Hey, Michael is willing to meet you.” Rahman was busy rehearsing his performance for the Oscar night at the time. I thought for a moment and said, “I will meet him if I win, Otherwise, I don’t want to meet him.”

The next day, after winning coveted Oscars, the Mozart of Madras went to meet the King of Pop. “Michael Jackson opened the door for me wearing his iconic gloves and sunglasses. I was standing in front of him on the high of winning two Oscars. It was surreal. We spoke for about two hours. We spoke about a lot of things such as love and hatred. We discussed the Jai Ho song. He said to me like my music, his dance moves also flow from his soul. And suddenly he stood and danced for me. I felt like being struck by a thunderbolt,” Rahman recalled. At present, Rahman is composing the score for South Indian Director Mani Ratnam’s period drama “Ponniyin Selvan”. A.R Rahman will also soon be debuting as a director with his ambitious virtual reality film, “Le Musk”.

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