Popularly known as: part of music directors team Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Shankar Mahadevan came to fame with his 'Breathless' song from album Breathless in 2000. He sung the song for two minutes and nineteen seconds without taking a breath. He sung the whole song in one breath. Along with singing he is also famous as a music director. Mahadevan is a part of a team of three music directors including two others Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendosa. The trios Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are the busiest musicians in the industry today. They came to fame as music directors with the film Dil Chahta Hai. They won the RD Burman Filmfare Award as New Music Talent in 2001 for 'Dil Chahta Hai'.
Shankar Mahadevan was born and grown up in Chembur, Mumbai. He belongs to the Tamil Iyer community. He loved music since his childhood. He started playing Veena at the age of five, while he performed for the first time at the age of 11.
He found himself lucky as he was always exposed to the right musical people from his childhood. He is trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani Classical Music. He was trained in music by T. R. Balamani. He also took training in North Indian semi-classical from Tara Devi. Also he learned Bhavgeet from renowned Marathi composer Srinivas Kale. In his childhood he was influenced by Bobby McFerin, Weather Report, Stevie Wonder, and Pink Floyd. He was also used to listen Bade Ghulam Ali Khan which helped him to improve his Urdu accent.
Before selecting music as career, Shankar Mahadevan worked in Oracle Corporation for some time. He is a qualified software engineer. He had two choices in his life that is either to choose the software engineer job and settle in abroad like his other friends or listen to his heart and select music as his career. He chose the later one and today he is successful singer and musician.
Shankar Mahadevan started his singing career with a ghazal for Muhafiz. Later he released his private album called Breathless, which was a huge success. He became hit with the 2 minute 19 seconds breathless song. The album was a mixture of traditional and modern music. Lyrics for the album were given by Javed Akhtar. Despite having an age difference, Shankar Mahadevan and Javed Akhtar shares a good chemistry. The duo later also performed together for film Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya and Kal Ho Na Ho.
After 'Breathless' he came up with the album Nine. Again lyrics for the album were written by Javed Akhtar. The album had nine songs each one featuring different emotion like love, jealousy, passion and sorrow.
After 'Nine' he again came to fame with his music for film 'Dil Chahta Hai'. Since then he had given beautiful music in many movies along with partners Ehsaan and Loy. Their popular hits as music directors includes films Dus (1997), Mission Kashmir (2000), Kuch Naa Kaho (2003), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Lakshya (2004), Bunty Aur Babli (2005), Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), Don (2006), Salaam-e-Ishq (2007), Hey Baby (2007), Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007) and Johny Gaddaar (2007).
Along with rocking Bollywood career he is also part of a Indo-Jazz fusion music band named 'Silk' which includes buddies like Sivamani, Karl Peters and Louis Banks. He is also part of Swedish musicians group named 'Mynta', with whom he performs twice a year. Also the Chineese Jazz festival is important to him.
Shankar Mahadevan also appeared as judge to Sony TV's reality show Fame Gurukul in 2005.