Rahman has been involved in several projects aside from film. He made an album Vande Mataram (1997) on India's 50th anniversary of independence to immense success. He followed it up with an album called Jana gana mana, a conglomeration of performances by many leading exponents/artists of Indian classical music. In addition to writing jingles for ads, he has composed several orchestrations for athletic events and T.V. and internet media publications, documentaries and short films.
In 1999, Rahman, along with choreographers Shobhana and Prabhu Deva Sundaram and a dancing troupe from the Tamil film industry performed with Michael Jackson in Munich, Germany, for his "Michael Jackson and Friends Concert." In 2002, he composed his maiden stage production Bombay Dreams (2002) following a commission from famous musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Furthermore, Rahman, along with the Finnish folk music band Värttinä, composed the music for The Lord of the Rings theatre production. He composed the piece "Raga's Dance" for Vanessa-Mae's album Choreography (2004).
In the last six years, he has performed in three successful world tours of his concerts to audiences in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, UK, Canada, the US (Hollywood Bowl and 3d tour) and India. A two-disc soundtrack, Introducing A. R. Rahman, (2006) featuring 25 pieces he composed from his Tamil film scores was released in May 2006.