R. K. Shekhar
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Rajagopala Kulashekharan (21 June 1933 – 30 September 1976) was an Indian music composer who worked mainly for Malayalam movies. He composed music for 52 films (23 in Malayalam with 127 songs), and was the music conductor for more than 100 films. He is the father of music composer A. R. Rahman. 
R. K. Shekhar
|Birth name||Rajagopala Kulashekharan|
|Born||21 June 1933|
|Origin||[Gudiyatham -Vellore]], British India (presently Tamil Nadu)|
|Died||30 September 1976(aged 43)|
|Genres||Film score, classical|
|Occupation(s)||Film composer, music director, Arranger, Music conductor|
|Years active||1964 – 1976|
He was born to Rajagopala Bhagavathar, a harikathai exponent born in Mudaliyar family in Tamil Nadu. His entry into film music was opened through his extraordinary performances on harmonium for Theatre Plays. He started his career in the film industry as an assistant to music director M. B. Sreenivasan. Later on he conducted and arranged music for famous Malayalam Music directors M.K. Arjunan and V. Dakshinamoorthy. He was so fascinated by the tunes created by these legends, that he would work very hard single-handedly to create the BGM of the songs they tuned to match its purity and standard, thus making the songs evergreen on par. Their association lasted till his death.
His career as an independent music composer started with the 1964 film Pazhassi Raja, of which the philosophical song "Chotta Muthal Chudala Vare" became a big hit. After his next work in Aisha, he turned back to arranging and conducting for other composers.
After a gap of 7 years, he returned to music composing through the film Anaathashilpangal in 1971. He composed music for Taxi Car by P. Venu in 1972. Then he went on to compose music for about 20 films. Due to the failure of these films in the box office, his songs went unnoticed and he lacked to get more opportunities for composing. His close friend in the industry was composer M. K. Arjunan. Starting from Arjunan master's first film, Shekhar assisted him in all his films till his death. Continuous hard work made Shekhar's health condition worse. In all these days, Arjunan master was the caretaker of him and his family.
He composed tunes for his last film Chottanikkara Amma when he was in bed for treatment and he died leaving the project incomplete. Later on, M.K. Arjunan completed the project by arranging and recording the songs that Shekhar composed.
R. K. Shekhar was married to Kasthuri. Their marriage took place in the most prominent shrine in India, the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple located in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh in Southern India. Shekhar and Kasthuri had four children, A. R. Reihana, A. R. Rahman, Fathima Rafiq and Ishrathqadhre. Shekhar died on 30 September 1976 at the young age of 43. G.V. Prakash Kumar is R.K. Shekher's grandson through A. R. Reihana
- Pazhassi Raja (1964)
- Anadha Shilpangal
- Aradi Manninte Janmi
- Taxi Car (1972)
- Miss Mary
- Chithariya Pookkal
- Nadeenadanmare Avashyamundu
- Pen Pada
- Priyae Ninakku Vendi
- Velicham Akale
- Thiruvonam (film) (Background score)
- Chottanikkara Amma (1976)