Prabhu Deva was born in Mysore, Karnataka and grew up in Alwarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He belongs to the Lingayat community. Prabhu Deva 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 styles. He is widely considered to be one of Indian cinema's greatest dancers and choreographers; Prabhu Deva has revolutionized some of the aspects of dance and choreography in modern popular Indian cinema. 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). Prabhu Deva's 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 the Prabhudeva's Dance Academy in Singapore.
Prabhu Deva was married to Ramlath for 15 years and had three children, the eldest(Basavaraju/Vishal) died in 2008 after suffering from cancer. During the making of Villu (2009), reports suggested that Prabhu Deva was having an affair with actress Nayantara. This was eventually confirmed by Nayantara, who also stated their intention to marry one another. After a year-long court-case filed by Ramlath against her husband and Nayantara, she finally accepted Prabhu Deva's request for divorce in 2010. After a lot of consistent denial for the divorce, it was officially sanctioned on 2nd July, 2011.