Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam (born 18 July 1975), better known by her stage name M.I.A. (pronounced as distinct initials), is a British rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, and activist. She is of Sri Lankan Tamil origin. Her stage name M.I.A. is wordplay on her name as well as a reference to the abbreviation Missing in Action. Her compositions combine elements of alternative, dance, electronic, hip hop and world music.