R. D. Burman: Master of Musical Bliss

One of the most well-known and wealthy composers, R. D. Burman was born in India on June 27, 1939. R. D. Burman’s net worth is estimated to be $5 million as of 2023. As Best Playback Song Singer, he was not able to win the 1976 Filmfare Award. It was his first nomination in this particular category. He is regarded as one of the most influential composers in Indian film history. R. D. Burman composed music for 331 films between the 1960s and the 1990s. Filmfare Awards were given to him in 1983, 1984, and 1995 for Best Director of Music. It was a posthumous award. Being his father’s only child, Sachin Dev Burman frequently played harmonica in his orchestras.

Wife & Children

In Darjeeling, Burman met his admirer Rita Patel. Along with her pals, she wagered that she and Pancham would go on a movie date. Rita married Burman in 1966; they separated in 1971. In 1979, he tied the knot with Asha Bhosle. But they didn’t live together since he was nearing the end of his life. Three stepchildren of R. D. Burman are vocalist Varsha Bhosle, producer Anand Bhosle, and film music composer Hemant Bhosle. The trio are the offspring of Asha’s initial union with Ganpatrao Bhosle.

R. D. Burman Childhood

R. D. Burman was initially given the moniker Tublu by his maternal grandmother, but he finally adopted the name Pancham. According to some traditions, he was named Pancham because, when he was a small child, his screams would dependably land on the fifth note in music notation.

A different version claims that because the baby could cry in five different tones, he was named Pancham. Another legend has it that after hearing Rahul’s baby repeatedly utter the letter Pa, famous Indian actor Ashok Kumar gave him the moniker Pancham.


His father used his first song, “Aye Meri Topi Palat Ke Aa,” which he wrote when he was nine years old, in the 1956 movie “Funtoosh.” His father used another song he wrote, “Sar Jo Tera Chakraaye,” in the 1957 film Pyaasa.

At that point, he began helping his father, S. D. Burman. In movies like Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), Bandini (1963), Ziddi (1964), Guide (1965), and Teen Devian (1965), he collaborated alongside his father. 

He made his feature film debut as a music director in 1959 with “Raaz,” yet for various reasons the film was never released. “Chhote Nawab (1961)” was the first movie he directed music for and was released. In 1966, he debuted his feature film as a music director with Teesri Manzil. In 1987, he directed music for the first time in a Telugu film, Rocky.” His debut in the Tamil film industry as a music director was with the movie “Poo Mazhai Pozhiyuthu (1987).”

As A Singer

He performed the well-known song “Mehbooba Mehbooba.” According to Binaca Geetmala, the song peaked at No. 6 in 1976 and No. 24 in 1975. He was nominated for a Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer solely for this song. In addition to writing the soundtracks for nearly 18 movies, he performed playback singing.


Filmfare Awards

Awards/ Places Named After Him

  • Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent
  • The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation named a public square (chowk) in Santa Cruz after R. D. Burman in 2009
  • On May 2013, India Post launched a special commemorative ‘Postage Stamp’ featuring R. D. Burman’s picture 

Google featured a doodle of Burman on its Indian home page on the occasion of his 77th birthday.

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