AR Rahman’s final Expo 2020 Dubai concert mixes Bollywood and South Indian hits

Oscar-winning composer and singer AR Rahman, who has been wowing Expo 2020 Dubai visitors with his all-female Firdaus Orchestra as well as solo concerts, took to the Jubilee Stage one last time on Thursday, before the world’s fair closes on March 31.

Joined by an army of pan-Indian singers-from celebrated vocalist Udit Narayan to Punjabi singer Daler Mehndi and singers Rashid Ali, Jonita Gandhi, Vijay Yesudas and Shweta Mohan-Rahman performed some of his biggest hits spanning more than two decades and several languages, including Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam. Rahman’s son AR Ameen, who is also a singer, performed on the night.

“Thanks again for all the love,” Rahman said, as he appeared on stage to loud cheers from the crowd.

Scroll through the gallery above for more pictures from AR Rahman’s last concert at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The show, titled Once Morebegan on a sedate note with Rahman performing a few of his Sufi-inspired hits, including the touching Khwaja Mere Khwaja from the 2008 film Jodhaa Akbar and Kun Faya Kun from the 2011 hit Rockstar.

The show then picked up pace as streamers filled the air to the tunes of Jai Ho!Rahman’s global hit from the soundtrack of Slumdog Millionairewhich bagged the musician his Best Original Song Oscar in 2008.

The near four-hour concert also included a percussion solo from Sivamani, who wheeled his drum set around the stage and spontaneously swapped his drums for a water cooler and his drum sticks for cans, before he was joined by the multi-talented Ranjit Barot.

A poignant segment featured Rahman’s tribute to celebrated Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar, who died last month at the age of 92. Considered a national treasure, Mangeshkar sang for many of Rahman’s compositions, and appeared on stage via video footage to perform the emotional hit Luka Chuppifrom the 2006 film Rang de Basanti.

Rahman, who developed Why? The Musicalexclusively for Expo 2020 Dubai, also performed English songs from the show.

While the concert was heavy with his Hindi hits, Rahman, who is from Tamil Nadu, ended the show with some of his biggest South Indian compositions. Songs such as Urvasi Urvasi and Mukkablafrom the 1994 film Kadhalanwere performed in Tamil, much to the delight of the crowd.

Scroll through the gallery below for images of celebrities who have visited Expo 2020 Dubai:

Updated: March 25, 2022, 7:27 AM

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