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M.I.A. Biography

M.I.A. was born in Hounslow, London on 17 July 1977. She is the daughter of Kala and Arul Pragasam. Her family belongs to Sri Lankan Tamil. When she was just six, her family moved back to their native Sri Lanka. Her father wished to support the Tamil militancy on the island and became a political activist. He adopted the name Arular. He was a founding member of The Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS), a political Tamil group that worked to establish an independent Tamil Eelam. Read Full Bio >>

M.I.A. Awards

2013 Grammy Awards Best Short Form Music Video Shared with: Nominated
2009 Academy Awards, USA Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Nominated
2009 World Soundtrack Awards Best Original Song Written for a Film Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Nominated

M.I.A. Trivia

  • She was born in Hounslow, London. When she was six months old, her family moved back to their native Sri Lanka.
  • Raised in Sri Lanka, where her father was a guerilla fighter.
  • She eventually returned to her birthplace in London, where she and her family were housed as refugees.
  • Some of her early influences were: Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante and N.W.A
  • She went to London's Central Saint Martins Art School, where she studied fine art, film and video.
  • "M.I.A." is an acronym for Missing In Acton, in reference to the gritty section of London she lived in.
  • Her first public art exhibition show was nominated for the alternative Turner prize, every painting sold and a monograph book of the collection was published by Pocko.
  • After hearing his single, "News Flash", and loving it, Arulpragasam tracked down and met with Diplo, the Mississippi-born DJ originally named Wesley Pentz, to work on some material.
  • Her father was 'Arul Pragasam', leader of 'Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students'(aka EROS) one of the main Tamil anti-government organization operating in Sri Lanka.
  • Her debut album, Arular, was released in America in March 2005
  • She is of Sri Lankan descent.
  • On October 2008, she announced that she and her boyfriend, Ben Brewer, are expecting their first child.
  • She performed at the Grammy Awards on February 9, 2009.
  • She gave birth to a baby boy on February 11, 2009.

M.I.A. Photos

  • M.I.A.

    Etam Live Show Lingerie 2013 - Runway

  • M.I.A.

    55th Annual Times BFI London Film Festival - "W.E." Premiere - Arrivals

  • M.I.A.

    Festival Sudoeste 2010 Music Festival - Day 1

  • M.I.A.

    Spike TV's Scream 2010 Awards - Arrivals

  • M.I.A., Alexander Wang and Zoe Kravitz

    "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - Arrivals

  • M.I.A.

    51st Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals

  • more

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