27 June 2021 | Indian Music Director

R. D. Burman Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography, Birthday & More

R D Burman Biography

Rahul Dev Burman a.k.a R D Burman was a born on June 27, 1939 in the Tram City Calcutta. He was nick named Tublu by his grandmother.

According to some rumors he was also named Pancham, because whenever he cried it sounded like the fifth note (Pa) G scale of Music Notation in Hindustani Classical Music, there is another theory that he could cry in different sounds that’s the reason he was called Pancham.

He was born to Legendary Bollywood Composer and singer S.D Burman (Sachin Dev Burman) and Lyricist Meera Dev Burman.

RD Family


R D Burman’s first wife

R D Burman’s first wife was Rita Patel, whom he had met in Darjeeling. Rita, a fan, had bet her friends that she would be able to get a film-date with R.D Burman. The two married in 1966, and divorced in 1971. The song Musafir Hoon Yaaron from Parichay (1972) was composed by him, when he was at a hotel after the separation.


R D Burman married Asha Bhosle in 1980. Together, they recorded many hit songs and also staged many live performances. However, towards the end of his life, they did not live together.


R D Burman received his early education in West Bengal. His father S. D. Burman was a noted music director in Bollywood, the Mumbai-based Hindi film industry. When he was nine years old, R. D. Burman composed his first song, Aye meri topi palat ke aa, which his father used in the film Funtoosh (1956).

The tune of the song Sar jo tera chakraaye was also composed by him as a child his father included it in the soundtrack of Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa (1957).

In Mumbai, R D Burman was trained by Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (sarod) and Samta Prasad (tabla). He also considered Salil Chowdhury his guru. He served as an assistant to his father, and often played harmonica in his orchestras.

Some of the notable films in which R. D. Burman is credited as the music assistant include Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), Bandini (1963), Ziddi (1964), Guide (1965) and Teen Devian (1965). R. D. Burman also played mouth organ for his father’s hit composition “Hai Apna Dil To Aawara“, which was featured in the film Solva Saal, and sung by Hemanta Mukhopadhyay.

In 1959, R D Burman signed up as a music director for the film Raaz, directed by Guru Dutt’s assistant Niranjan. However, the film was never completed.

The lyrics of this Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman-starrer film were written by Shailendra. Burman recorded two songs for the film before it was shelved. The first song was sung by Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle, and the second one had vocals by Shamshad Begum.

R D Burman in the 70s had rose to the fame and had become highly recognized by the Bollywood music industry and with the Kishore Kumar songs and Rajesh Khanna starrer movies. Evergreen movie Kati Patang was the Musical Hit during 70s which was directed by Shakti Samanta. He also composed Hare Rama Hare Krishna in the year 1971.

The Asha Bhosle song “Dum Maro Dum” from this film proved to be a seminal rock number in Hindi film music.

The filmmaker Dev Anand did not include the complete version of “Dum Maro Dum” in the film, because he was worried that the song would overshadow the film. In the same year, Burman composed the music for Amar Prem. The Lata Mangeshkar song “Raina Beeti Jaaye” from this soundtrack is regarded as a classical music gem in Hindi film music..

R D Burman’s other hits in 1971 included the romantic song “Raat kali ek khwab mein

From Buddha Mil Gaya and the Helen-starrer cabaret song “Piya Tu Ab To Aaja” from Caravan.

In 1972, R D Burman composed music for several films, including Seeta Aur Geeta, Rampur Ka Lakshman, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Bombay To Goa, Apna Desh and Parichay. His success continued with hits such as Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973), Aap Ki Kasam (1974), Sholay (1975) and Aandhi (1975).

He also composed a song for a small documentary film called Maa Ki Pukaar, in 1975. After his father S. D. Burman went into coma, Burman also completed the music of Mili (1975).

Twist in Career

In the 70s R D Burman was the sensation for his music direction. He felt he was overshadowed by the Disco Music Composer Bappi Lahiri. 1970, R D Burman composed the music for Dev Anand’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971). Many filmmakers stopped patronizing him, as films featuring his compositions flopped at the box office one after the other.

Nasir Hussain, who had signed him up for every single one of his productions since Teesri Manzil (1966), did not sign him up for Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988).

Hussain defended Burman in the press, saying that the latter did not give weak music in Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai (1982) and Manzil Manzil (1984). He also said that the composer was going through a lean phase during the recording of Zabardast (1985).

But after these three films flopped, Hussain stepped down as a director, and his son and successor Mansoor Khan switched to other composers. The filmmaker Subhash Ghai promised Burman Ram Lakhan (1989), but gave it instead to Laxmikant–Pyarelal. In 1986, Burman composed songs for Ijaazat the score is regarded as one of his best.

However, the film belonged to the Parallel Cinema genre of (art films), so it did not stop the decline of R D Burman’s commercial film career. All four songs in Ijaazat were sung by Asha Bhosle and written by Gulzar.

Burman was greatly appreciated by the critics for setting the non-rhyming lyrics of the song “Mera Kuchh Saamaan” to music.

R D Burman suffered from a heart attack in 1988, and underwent heart bypass surgery a year later at The Princess Grace Hospital in London.

Existing Legacy

Many Songs and movies were made during his existence but were able to release after his death. Burman’s death contain his original songs or their remixed versions.

Dil Vil Pyar Vyar (2002), which contains several re-arranged hit songs of Burman, was made as a tribute to him. Jhankaar Beats (2003), which catapulted the music director duo Vishal-Shekhar into the limelight, is also a tribute to him.

In Khwahish (2003), Mallika Sherawat’s character is a Burman fan the film features repeated references to him. In 2010, Brahmanand Singh released a 113-minute documentary titled Pancham Unmixed: Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hai, which received critical acclaim.

The music of Lootera (2013) is a tribute to Burman. Other films which credit R. D. Burman include Gang (2000) and Monsoon Wedding (2001)

A number of Indian remix albums feature R.D Burman’s songs, which are also popular in the country’s pubs and discos.

Several of his compositions were re-mixed by the South Asian DJs in the United Kingdom and North America, and feature in popular albums such as Bally Sagoo’s Bollywood Flashback.

Kronos Quartet’s You’ve Stolen My Heart (2005) contains BurmEan’s compositions sung by his wife Asha Bhosle. In the 2012 film Khiladi 786, Himesh Reshammiya-composed song Balma is also a tribute to R.D. Burman.


  • Kishor Kumar – Chandni Ki Chamak Se Gheere Hue Insaano Ka Kya Kehna, Ladki Nai BIjli Hain Tu, Main Hoon Who Jaadugar.
  • Asha Bhosle – Main Hoon Wahi, Meri Behna Pyaari Hain, Pardesi Behna, Tu Na Milan Toh.
  • Lata Mangeshkar – Na Jaa Re Na Ja Mere Sawariya, Mohabat ke Isharon Mein.
  • Mohammed Rafi – Tasveer Liye Jaata Hoon, Rut Hain Milan Ki, Yamma Yamma, Chand Mera Dil, Wadiyan Mera Daman. 
  • Amit Kumar – Pinky Darling, Jise Pyaar Zamaana, Gussa Ho Kar, Tumhare Roop Ka Suraj.


  • FilmFare Best Music Director Award – Sanam Teri Kasam 1983.
  • FilmFare Best Music Director Award – Masoom 1984
  • FilmFare Best Music Director Award – 1942: A Love Story.