Slumdog Millionaire: Music from the Motion Picture

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Slumdog Millionaire: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 25 November 2008
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn and AM Studios
Genre Soundtrack, film score, world music, hip-hop
Length 51:01
Label N.E.E.T., Interscope
T-Series (India)
Producer A. R. Rahman
Danny Boyle film soundtrack chronology
Slumdog Millionaire
127 Hours
(2010)127 Hours2010
A. R. Rahman chronology
(2008) Ghajini2008
Slumdog Millionaire
(2008) Slumdog Millionaire2008
(2009) Delhi-62009
Singles from Slumdog Millionaire: Music from the Motion Picture
  1. "Jai Ho"
    Released: 2008
  2. "O... Saya"
    Released: November 24, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire: Music from the Motion Picture is the soundtrack album of the British drama film of the same name, directed by Danny Boyle. The original score and songs were composed by A. R. Rahman, who planned the score in two months and completed it in 20 days,[1] a far shorter time period than usual. The soundtrack has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and two Academy Awards, one for Best Original Music Score and the other for Best Original Song for "Jai Ho". The soundtrack has also won two Grammy Awards, one for the album itself and another for the song "Jai Ho". The soundtrack sold over two million units worldwide.[2]


Rahman has stated that he was aiming for "mixing modern India and the old India" with the music (see Music of India), but that the film and soundtrack "isn’t about India or Indian culture. The story could happen anywhere." The film's director Danny Boyle, who "hated sentiment" and told Rahman "Never put a cello in my film", wanted a "pulsey" score. Rahman appreciated that Boyle liked how Indian films mix music, saying the director wanted "edgy, upfront" music that did not suppress sound. Composing pieces to fit the images, he noted: "There’s not many cues in the film. Usually a big film has 130 cues. This had just seventeen or eighteen: the end credits, beginning credits."[1] Describing the music as one of the parts he liked most in the film,[3] Boyle wanted to include M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" from early on in production on the score, which appears along with an original track Rahman composed, "O...Saya," featuring the artist.[4] M.I.A., who Rahman described as a "powerhouse" gave brief film notes on some scenes to Boyle upon request during editing.[1][5][6] The track "Ringa Ringa" was done as a tribute to the famous Laxmikant-Pyarelal song "Choli Ke Peeche" from the 1993 movie Khal Nayak.[7] Rahman has attributed part of the success of the film soundtrack to Arulpragasam.[8]

The soundtrack for the film was released on M.I.A.'s N.E.E.T. label.[9]

Chart performance

The soundtrack gained popularity after the performance of this movie on the Golden Globe Awards. It also rose up the Billboard 200 albums chart rising from 56 to 16 for the issue of 31 January 2009,[10] later peaking at #4 on the chart.[11] For the issue of 7 March 2009, the album again rebounded from 48 to 22 by selling 21,000 copies (a 38% rise), spurred by sales due to the Oscar win at the 81st Academy Awards.[12]

Track listing

No. Title Lyrics Performer(s) Length
1. "O... Saya*" A. R. Rahman, M.I.A. A. R. Rahman and M.I.A. 3:34
2. "Riots" (instrumental)     1:59
3. "Mausam & Escape" (instrumental)   Asad Khan (sitar) 3:53
4. "Paper Planes#1"   M.I.A. 3:23
5. "Paper Planes (DFA Remix)"   M.I.A. 5:49
6. "Ringa Ringa" Raqeeb Alam Alka Yagnik, Ila Arun 4:15
7. "Liquid Dance#2"   Palakkad Sreeram, Srimathumitha 2:59
8. "Latika's Theme"   Suzanne D'Mello 3:09
9. "Aaj Ki Raat#3" Javed Akhtar Sonu Nigam, Mahalakshmi Iyer, Alisha Chinai 6:07
10. "Millionaire"   A.R. Rahman, Madhumitha 2:44
11. "Gangsta Blues" BlaaZe BlaaZe, Tanvi Shah 3:42
12. "Dreams on Fire" BlaaZe, Wendy Parr Suzanne D'Mello 4:08
13. "Jai Ho**" Gulzar, Tanvi Shah Sukhwinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalakshmi Iyer, Vijay Prakash 5:19

*Nominated for Best Original Song at Academy Awards
**Winner of Best Original Song at Academy Awards

#1written by Mathangi Arulpragasam, Topper Headon, Mick Jones, Wesley Pentz, Paul Simonon, Joe Strummer
#2previously used as a background track in Azhagiya Thamizh Magan (2007, Tamil film) with different instrumentation and no vocals
#3composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, lyrics by Javed Akhtar; from the album Don: The Chase Begins Again
Not in the soundtrack

Other music featured in the film include:

  1. Salim's mobile phone ringtone – adapted from theme music to Swades.
  2. Opera performance at the Taj Mahal – "Che farò senza Euridice?" from Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice.
  3. "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" - Keith Strachan & Matthew Strachan.
  4. "Great DJ" by The Ting Tings featured in the trailer.


Charts (2009) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[13] 36
Austrian Albums Chart[13] 23
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[13] 26
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[13] 59
Dutch Albums Chart[13] 52
French Albums Chart[13] 24
German Albums Chart[13] 54
Mexican Albums Chart[13] 3
New Zealand Albums Chart[13] 19
Norwegian Albums Chart[13] 36
Polish Albums Chart[11] 8
Portuguese Albums Chart[13] 26
Spanish Albums Chart[13] 17
Swiss Albums Chart[13] 24
UK Albums Chart[11] 13
U.S. Billboard 200[11] 4
U.S. Billboard Top Electronic Albums[14] 1


Country Certification Sales/Shipments
UK Gold[15] 100,000
Australia Gold[16] 35,000
Ireland Gold[17] 7,500



  1. ^ a b c Hill, Logan (12 November 2008). "Composer A.R. Rahman on the Sounds of 'Slumdog Millionaire' and Being M.I.A.'s Idol". New York. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  2. ^ "'Slumdog Millionaire' soundtrack sells 2 million units". Neapolitan Music. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  3. ^ Vergee, Neelam (27 September 2008). "I think I changed working in Bombay". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  4. ^ Murrow, Martin (12 November 2008). "Clever Little Dickens". CBC. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  5. ^ "Danny Boyle says London actor Dev Patel plays ideal loser". CBC. 9 November 2008. Archived from the original on 2 January 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  6. ^ Medina, Jeremy (12 November 2008). "Catching Up With...Danny Boyle". Paste. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  7. ^ The Times Of India  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Information Not Found". Archived from the original on 20 September 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  9. ^ Maher, Dave (24 November 2008). "M.I.A.'s New Label to Release Slumdog Soundtrack". Pitchforkmedia. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  10. ^ Jonathon Cohen (22 January 2009). "Swift Makes It Lucky Seven Atop Billboard 200". Retrieved 23 January 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Slumdog soundtrack on world charts". Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Keith Caulfield (25 February 2009). "'Slumdog' Barks While Taylor Swift Nets 10th Week At No. 1". Retrieved 26 February 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "SOUNDTRACK / A.R. RAHMAN - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE". Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  14. ^ billboard Top Electronic Album
  15. ^ "British album certifications – A.R. Rahman". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 17 September 2012.  Select albums in the Format field. Enter A.R. Rahman in the search field and then press Enter.
  16. ^ "Top 50 Albums Chart - Australian Record Industry Association". Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  17. ^ Jaclyn Ward (1 October 1962). "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Retrieved 11 August 2011. 

External links

  • Official website of A.R. Rahman
  • Slumdog Millionaire at Metacritic
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