Shankar Mahadevan (born 3 March 1967) is an award-winning composer and playback singer who is part of the Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy composing trio team for many Indian films. He is a four-time winner of the National Award: three times for Best Male Playback Singer and once for Best Music Director. Mahadevan founded the Shankar Mahadevan Academy, which provides online music lessons in Indian music for students worldwide.Cite error: The named reference ti was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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 (OLPS) 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 to Mumbai University, and was a software engineer for Oracle. His wife Sangeeta is Maharashtrian and oldest son Siddharth Mahadevan, also a singer, made his debut on the 2013 Bhaag Milkha Bhaag song "Zinda". His youngest son, Shivam Mahadevan, also a singer made his debut in 2013 Dhoom 3 song Bande Hain Hum Uske. Now he lives in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Mahadevan is fluent in Marathi, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu and English.Puri, Amit (21 October 2002). "Nerd who started at 5 and still not Breathless". Tribune India. Archived from the original on 10 March 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2009. Mahadevan, Shankar (8 September 2013). I am a Malayali grew up in Mumbai: Shankar Mahadevan. Interview with John Brittas. 0:38. Kairali TV. Retrieved 4 January 2010 – via Kairali Archive on YouTube. Interviewer: You have some connection with Kerala in fact, your family migrated from Palakkad or something like that. Shankar Mahadevan: Yes, I am an Iyer from Palakkad actually "Shankar Mahadevan Biography". Filmi Beat. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
After working for Leading Edge Systems (now Trigyn Technologies Limited), 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, he has worked with several top composers including Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja, Deva, Yuvan Shankar Raja (for whom he has sung the maximum number of songs in Tamil), Harris Jayaraj, Vidyasagar, Mani Sharma, Devi Sri Prasad, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Vijay Antony, D. Imman, S. Thaman, Anirudh Ravichander and others. He also made a special appearance in the visualization of the song "Thaniye" from Rhythm, which was sung by himself. In addition, Mahadevan has sung for every major hero in Tamil cinema including Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, though he is better known for the several hit songs he has delivered for contemporary stars Vijay and Ajith Kumar. His song "Manmatha Rasa" from Thiruda Thirudi was a chartbuster and remains hugely popular.
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 Kaushal Inamdar 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 founded the Shankar Mahadevan Academy along with Sridhar Ranganathan, his classmate and friend from his college days. The academy offers tutorials and virtual with live teachers for vocal courses in Carnatic and Hindustani classical music, religious chanting, Indian folk music and Bollywood songs. It also offers the Grow With Music program to get children interested in music.
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, Brindavanam etc.Yasir, S.M. (6 November 2003). "Striking the right note... for his supper". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 November 2009.