India’s multi-Oscar-winning musician and composer AR Rahman has been named as grand prize winner of the prestigious Fukuoka Prize. The Fukuoka Prize was established in 1990 to honor the outstanding work of individuals and organizations to preserve and promote the unique and diverse cultures of Asia. Previous winners include Muhammad Yunus, from Bangladesh, who went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Mo Yan, from China, subsequent winner of the Nobel Literature Prize and another Indian music giant Ravi Shankar.
Prolific and multi-talented, Rahman has music credits for major Indian films including “Raavan,” “Yuvraaj,” “Rockstar” and “Rang de Basanti,” as well as Western and Hollywood titles including “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “127 Hours” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” Fukuoka Prize organizers said: “By his world-famous music, Mr A R Rahman has opened up a new arena for film music, and has become a driving-force of this field to gain it a new recognition… (he has a) bold fusion of traditional South Asian, classical Western and popular contemporary American hip-hop and other music.” Winners of this year’s other prizes are Dr Ambeth R Ocampo (Philippines/History) for the academic prize and Yasmeen Lari (Pakistan/Architecture), winner of the Arts and Culture Prize. Laureates will receive their awards in Fukuoka, Japan in September.-Reuters