AR Rahman reveals details of the potential collaboration with Michael Jackson for Shankar’s ‘Enthiran’

Rahman noted that Jackson's passing in June 2009 prevented the collab from happening, as he was unwell during that time.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 11, 2024 | 2:31 PM Updated Jul 11, 2024 | 3:15 PM

Enthiran: Rahman on potential collab with Michael Jackson

AR Rahman recently shared his encounter with Michael Jackson before the latter’s passing in 2009.

Addressing a meet-and-greet event in Malaysia, the double Oscar-winning composer disclosed that the legendary pop icon nearly lent his voice to a song for Shankar’s Enthiran (2010), starring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai.

Rahman was in Los Angeles, USA, in early 2009 when he was introduced to Michael Jackson’s manager.

“I requested to meet him, but there was no response initially. After my Oscar nomination for Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Jackson’s team reached out saying he wanted to meet me. I declined, stating I would meet him after winning an Oscar,” he recalled.

When Rahman eventually won the Oscar, he described the feeling as being “on top of the world.”

The day after the music composer won the Oscar, he met Jackson at his residence in Los Angeles.

Michael Jackson and AR Rahman discussed music and global harmony. Jackson proposed collaborating on a sequel to, We Are The World, introduced Rahman to his children, and even showcased his heartfelt dance style.

After returning to India, Rahman recounted the encounter to Shankar, who pondered whether Jackson would consider collaborating on Enthiran.

When Rahman eagerly wondered if Jackson would be willing to sing a Tamil song, Shankar reassured him that they would collaborate on whatever project he desired.

However, Rahman noted that Michael Jackson’s passing in June of that year prevented the collaboration from happening, as he was unwell during that time.

Although the original soundtrack (OST) of Enthiran did not include any international singers, it became a huge success.

A sequel titled 2.O, also composed by Rahman, was released in 2018, starring Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, and Amy Jackson.

Also read: Prabhudheva and AR Rahman’s film titled ‘Moon Walk’

A busy year for Rahman

Shankar and Rahman collaborated on several successful films, including the 1996 Kamal Haasan-starrer Indian. For the sequel, Indian 2, Anirudh Ravichander composed the music.

When questioned about this choice at a recent press event, Shankar explained that he approached Anirudh because Rahman was occupied with other commitments.

“AR Rahman was already engaged with the background music for 2.O when we began Indian 2. I needed songs for the film promptly. To avoid overburdening Rahman and acknowledging Anirudh Ravichander’s popular music, I decided to bring Anirudh on board for the music of Indian 2,” the director noted.

AR Rahman has a packed schedule across various languages. In Tamil, he is working on Raayan, Thug Life, Genie, Kadhalikka Neramillai, and Moon Walk.

In Hindi, his projects include Chhava, Lahore 1947, Tere Ishk Mein, and Ramayana. He is also composing music for Ram Charan’s next with Buchi Babu Sana in Telugu and an Arabic film titled Baab.

(Edited by Y Krishna Jyothi)

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Also Read: Shankar explains why he chose Anirudh over AR Rahman for Indian 2