Oscar-winning musician A R Rahman has been conferred with his first American Honorary Doctorate by the Miami University here.
The Indian composer was given the honorary degree for Doctor of Music at the University’s 173rd Annual Commencement Ceremony held at the Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio.
It is Rahman’s fourth doctorate. He has previously been honoured by Aligarh Muslim University, Anna University and Middlesex University in the UK.
Addressing a gathering of over 15,000 students, Rahman said it was great to share his love and music with Miami University.
“I wish to thank a few people who have made a significant impact in my life: My father and mother have anchored me with good values; then Mani Ratnam who is India’s noted filmmaker gave me my first break in the world of cinema in the film Roja,” Rahman said in his address.
“My Sufi teachers opened my consciousness and helped me discover myself. People from all around India have embraced me and my music without any discrimination and today, I find the same spirit of acceptance in Hollywood,” he added.
Rahman has been associated with the university for past 10 years and it had also assisted him in the making of K M Music Conservatory in Chennai.
“I cannot believe that it is over ten years since my music and I have been associated with Miami University. I have enjoyed collaborating with your students and faculty and above all, every interaction has allowed for greater understanding, sensitivity and growth,” he said.
David C Hodge conferred the Honorary Degree on to Rahman and thanked him for his unwavering support to the University.
One of the most influential names in Indian music today, the composer is credited for redefining contemporary music.
Rahman, who started his career with Mani Ratnam’s “Roja”, went on to win two Oscars, two Grammys, a Golden Globe and the BAFTA for his music in “Slumdog Millionaire.
He has given music in hit films like ‘Bombay’, Dil Se’, ’Taal’, ‘Lagaan’, ‘Vandemataram’ and more recently, ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, ‘Delhi 6’ and ‘Rockstar’
Rahman recently collaborated with Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley and Dave Stewart for their international band SuperHeavy.