AR Rahman has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Miami University.
The Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire composer thanked all those who had played a key role in his musical journey during his keynote address, The Times of India reports.
"I wish to thank a few people who have made a significant impact in my life: My father and mother have anchored me with good values; then Mani Ratnam who is India's noted filmmaker, who gave me my first break in the world of cinema in the film Roja," Rahman said in his speech.
"My Sufi teachers opened my consciousness and helped me discover myself. People from all around India have embraced me and my music without any discrimination and today, I find the same spirit of acceptance in Hollywood."
Rahman continued his address by saying that he'd never imagined the US President and his family would send him personally signed invitations to come to the White House.
He added that at one stage he never believed he would be granted a US visa, let alone be able to share his love and music with the university and receive his first American honorary doctorate.
Rahman was nominated for two Grammys and won a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and two Oscars for the soundtrack for Slumdog Millionaire.