Born: April 3, 1955 (age 61), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Genre: Indian classical music, ghazals
Awards: Padma Shri (2004)
Hariharan is an Indian playback and ghazal singer, whose songs have been featured mainly in Tamil and Hindi movies. He has also sung many songs in other languages including Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Bhojpuri and Telugu films. He is an established ghazal singer and one of the pioneers of Indian fusion music.
Hariharan was born in Mumbai to Tamilian parents. The son of renowned carnatic vocalists, Shrimati Alamelu and the late H.A.S. Mani (full name:Anantha Subramani Iyer), he inherited his parents’ musical talents. Alamelu was Hariharan’s first guru. In his teens, inspired by the songs of Mehdi Hassan, Hariharan developed a passion for ghazals and started training in Hindustani music from Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. He used to put in thirteen hours of singing practice every day.
Hariharan entered the world of Tamil films in 1992 introdu ced by debutant music director A.R. Rahman with the patriotic song “Thamizha Thamizha” in Maniratnam’s film Roja. After that the journey went on and he has sung more than 500 Tamil songs and nearly 200 Hindi songs. He has also sung hundreds of songs in Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Bengali languages. Hariharan is also one of the foremost Indian ghazal singers and composers with more than thirty albums to his credit.
The year 1996 was a milestone in his career. He formed the band called Colonial Cousins with Mumbai-based composer and singer Lesle Lewis. They have released many private music albums and also scored music for few feature films in Tamil cinema and Bollywood.
In 2004, he was honoured with the Padma Shri by the government of India.