Mathangi Arulpragasam MBE, better known by her stage name M.I.A., is an English rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, visual artist and activist. Her stage name is wordplay on her name as well as a reference to the abbreviation for "Missing In Action". Her work combines elements of alternative, dance, electronic, hip hop, and world music.
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. Since rising to prominence in early 2004 for her singles "Sunshowers" and "Galang", charting in Canada and the UK and reaching number 11 on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales in the US, she has been nominated for an Academy Award, three Grammy Awards and the Mercury Prize.
She released her debut album Arular in 2005 and her second album Kala in 2007, both to wide critical acclaim. Arular charted in Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Japan, and the US, where it reached number 16 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and number three on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Kala was certified silver in the UK and gold in Canada and the US, where it topped the Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
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