Prabhu Deva was born in Mysore, Karnataka to a lingayat family and grew up in Alwarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He was inspired by his father, Mugur Sundar (known as Sundaram Master), who was a dance master for popular South Indian movies. He took dancing as his career and passion, learning Indian dance forms such as Bharatanatyam as well as Western dance styles. His brothers Raju Sundaram and Nagendra Prasad are also established South Indian choreographers. From choreography he went on to establish himself as an actor. His dance steps helped him become a star in Kollywood (the Tamil film industry). His first movie as a dance director was Vetri Vizha. He has since choreographed over 100 movies. Before starting as a full-time actor, he appeared as a background dancer for a song in the Tamil film Agni Natchathiram. His first role as a hero was in Indhu (1994) with actress Roja. Deva's success resulted largely from his dancing. In 1999, Deva, Shobhana and A. R. Rahman performed with a Tamil cinema dancing troupe at the "Michael Jackson and Friends" concert in Munich, Germany. He has a significant fan following in the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industries. He acted alongside his brothers in the movie 123. As of 2010, he serves as chairman and director of a dance academy in Singapore named Prabhudeva's Dance Academy.