M.I.A.
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Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam MBE (born 18 July 1975), known by her stage name M.I.A. (/ɛm aɪ eɪ/), is a British rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, visual artist, and activist. Combining elements of alternative, dance, electronic, hip hop, and world music, her early compositions relied heavily on the Roland MC-505 music sequencer and drum machine, whilst her later work marked an evolution in her sound with rare instruments, electronics, and unusual sound samples. M.I.A.'s music lyrically incorporates a range of political, social, philosophical and cultural references. M.I.A. has embarked on five global headlining tours and is the founder of her own multimedia label, N.E.E.T.

Born in London to Sri Lankan Tamil parents, M.I.A. and her family moved to Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka when she was six months old. The first 11 years of her life were marked by displacement caused by the Sri Lankan Civil War, and she and her family eventually returned to London as refugees. M.I.A. began her career in 2000 as a visual artist, filmmaker, and designer in West London before beginning her recording career in 2002. She was one of the first acts to come to public attention through the Internet, posting her songs and videos on platforms such as MySpace, and rose to prominence in early 2004 for her singles "Sunshowers" and "Galang".

M.I.A. released her debut album Arular in 2005 followed by Kala in 2007, which both received widespread critical acclaim. Her third album Maya was released in 2010 soon after the controversial single-short film "Born Free". The album received less favourable critical response compared to her previous records, but was her best-charting effort, reaching the top 10 in several countries. Her fourth studio album, Matangi, was released in 2013 and produced the single "Bad Girls", which won several accolades at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards. She released her fifth studio album, AIM, in 2016.

Among M.I.A.'s accolades include two American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) awards and two MTV Video Music Awards. In addition, she is the first person of South Asian descent to be nominated for an Academy Award and Grammy Award in the same year. She was named one of the defining artists of the 2000s decade by Rolling Stone in its "Best of the Decade" list in December 2009. Time named her one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2009, and Esquire ranked M.I.A. on its list of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. According to Billboard, she was one of the "Top 50 Dance/Electronic Artists of the 2010s". M.I.A. was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honours for her services to music.

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