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Shankar Mahadevan

Shankar Mahadevan is an Indian singer and music composer. An accomplished musician in Tamil cinema, he is a part of the Shankar Ehsaan Loy trio team that provides music to Bollywood films. 

Early life

Shankar Mahadevan was born in Chennai, India to a Tamil family and grew up in Mumbai. He learned Indian classical music and Carnatic music in his childhood and started playing Veena at the age of five. He played Veena in the first song of Bhimsen Joshi and Lata Mangeshkar together composed by Shrinivas Khale.[1] He went to OLPS High School in Chembur. He graduated in 1988 with a degree in Computer Science Engineering from R.A.I.T (D Y Patil, Navi Mumbai), under the auspices of Mumbai University. As of now he sings songs in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, and Marathi.


Though a software engineer by education and having earlier worked with the Oracle Corporation, Shankar's interest in music made him venture into the field of music. He earned his first award as a playback singer in a Tamil movie, collaborating with A. R. Rahman and winning a National Film Award for his song in Kandukondain Kandukondain. A prominent star in the Kodambakkam film industry, he later gained more recognition by releasing his first music album called Breathless in 1998. He later got into music direction and became a part of the Shankar Ehsaan Loy trio, composing music for Hindi films.

He enjoys a successful run with Fusion-Jazz band SILK with Louis Banks on Keyboards, Sivamani on percussion, Sridhar Parthasarathy on Mridangam and Karl Peters on Bass Guitar.

Shankar Mahadevan has also provided vocals for several compositions of Remember Shakti which features maestros like Zakir Hussain, John McLaughlin, U. Srinivas and Selvaganesh Vinayakram.

He is also a mentor on Zee TV's musical reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2009.[2]

He was music director for the famous School chale hum song that used to come on Doordarshan (DD). He was singer as well for that song.


Swaralaya-Kairali-Yesudas Award

2007: Yesudas Award for his outstanding contribution to Indian film music.

National Film Awards

Kerala State Film Award

2009: Best Playback Singer (Male) for the song "Kalyaana Kacheri " from the movie Madampi

Filmfare Awards

2003: Best Music Direction win for Kal Ho Naa Ho

2005: Best Music Direction win for Bunty Aur Babli..

Star Screen Awards

2000: Best Background Music nomination for Mission Kashmir

2001: Best Music Direction win for Dil Chahta Hai

2005: Best Music Direction win for Bunty aur Babli

2009: Best Music Direction win for Rock-On

Other Awards

2009: Annual Malayalam Movie Awards (Dubai) - Best Male Singer for Pichavecha Naal from Puthiya Mukham

Music Composing Filmography


  • Breathless - Breathless is the album that first gave him fame, including the song, "Breathless," in which he seems to sing through the whole song in a single breath.
  • Nine - Nine is Shankar's most recent album. Each song is a representation of a "mood," including joy, sadness, love, etc.



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