Instrumental in bringing fusion music to India, Hariharan is a veteran playback singer, best known for his soulful rendition of the song "Tu Hi Re" from Mani Ratnam’s iconic film Bombay that touched the nation’s heartstrings.
A versatile singer, Hariharan has explored a wide range of genres, including ghazals, classical, khayal, thumri, and even fusion . From devotional music, ghazals, classical to playback in Bollywood and the four southern film industries, Bengali and Marathi songs, he has done it all!
He is the son of renowned Carnatic vocalists, Smt. Alamelu who was his first mentor who introduced him to Carnatic Music.
He made his singing debut in the 1978 film ‘Gaman’ with the song 'Ajeeb Saneha Mujhpar Guzar Gaya'. He won his first National Award nomination for that song.
With more than thirty ghazal albums to his credit, Hariharan was honoured with a ‘Padma Shri’ in 2004. In the same year he also received the ‘Swaralaya-Kairali-Yesudas Award’ for his outstanding contribution to Indian film music.
He has won two National Film Awards for ‘Best Playback Singer’ including for the song ‘Mere Dushman’ from ‘Border’ in 1998. His other songs include, ‘Yaadein Yaad Aati Hain’ from ‘Yaadein’, ‘Tu Hi Re’ from ‘Bombay’, ‘Hai Rama’ from ‘Rangeela’, ‘Tu Mere Paas Bhi Hai’ from ‘Satya’,‘I Love My India’ from ‘Pardes’ & ‘Nahin Saamne’ from ‘Taal’.
In 1996, he hit a career milestone after forming the band ‘Colonial Cousins’ with singer Leslie Lewis. Their first album, ‘Colonial Cousins’ won a string of awards including the ‘MTV Indian Viewers’ Choice Award in New York & Billboard Award for the ‘Best Asian Music Group’ in Las Vegas.
Hariharan has learnt Hindustani music from none other than Padma Vibhushan awardee Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.
He also created a unique ghazal to train students online in a masterclass called ‘Ace it with the Master’.
He has sung more than 500 Tamil songs & over 200 Hindi songs. Being multilingual he has also sung in various regional languages including Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi & Bengali.
The voice that doesn't age, Hariharan's expertise in music encompasses multiple genres. His eclectic singing styles range from carnatic & Hindustani classical, to ghazals, indipop & Bollywood numbers.
Some Popular Tracks
- Theeyaga Thondri
- Ottaiyanum Senja Thara
- Un Uthattora
- Aaro Padunnu
- Nahin Saamne
- Baahon Ke Darmiyan
- Jab Woh Mere Kareeb
- I Love My India
- Chod Aaye Hum
- Aranmanai 3
- Best Of Vairamuthu
- Katha Thudarunnu
- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
- Colonial Cousins
- Best Male Playback Singer – Filmfare Awards South
- Best Music Video – Screen Videocon Awards