Hariharan (Tamil;ஹரிஹரன்), born 3 April, 1955 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala) is an Indian playback singer in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam,Kannada and Telugu movies, an established ghazal singer, and one of the pioneers of Indian fusion music.
In 1977, Hariharan bagged the top prize in the All-India Sur Singaar competition and was promptly signed on by the late music director Jaidev to sing for the Hindi film Gaman. His debut song "Ajeeb Saane He Mujh Par Qarar" in that movie became such a hit that it won Hariharan an Uttar Pradesh state award, as well as a Best Singer National Award nomination, and Hariharan's playback singing career took off.
Hariharan entered the world of Tamil films in 1992 introduced by debutant music director A.R Rahman with the patriotic song "Thamizha Thamizha" in Maniratnam's film Roja. He was judged best male playback singer in the 1995 Tamil Nadu State Government Film Awards for his soulful rendition of the song "Uyire Uyire" also by music director A.R Rahman in Maniratnam's Bombay (Hariharan sang the song with K.S. Chitra). Hariharan has been one of the most trusted singer of A R Rahman and has sung many songs for him in long list of movies that includes Roja, Minsara Kanavu, Jeans, Indian, Mudhalvan, Taal, Bombay, Rangeela, Indira, Iruvar, Anbe Aaruyire, Kangalal Kaithu Sei, Sivaji, Alaipayuthey, Kannathil Muthamittal,Guru etc. In 1998, Hariharan won the national award for the best playback singer for the soulful rendition of the song "mere dushman mere bhai" from the Hindi movie Border, composed by Anu Malik.
He has sung more than 500 Tamil songs which is is his highest in his career.
The year 1996 was a career milestone; he released the fusion album Colonial Cousins with Bombay-based composer/singer Leslie Lewis. This was the first Indian act to be featured on MTV Unplugged. It won a string of awards including the MTV Indian Viewers' Choice award.
Hariharan also collaborated with Pakistan based band Strings for a track called "bolo bolo". Hariharan released an album called destiny with Punjabi / bhangra artiste Daler Mehndi. His newest Ghazal album "Lahore ke rang, Hari ke sang" with renowned ghazal composers from Pakistan won him rave reviews and critical acclaim inside and outside india. He also coined the terminology "Urdu Blues" with his immensely successful album "Kaash" which featured musicians like Anandan Sivamani the percussion maestro, Ustaad Rashid Mustafa on tabla, Ustad Liyaqat Ali Khan on Sitar & Ustad Sultan Khan on Sarangi. Hariharan also worked with tabla maestro Zakir Hussain on his ghazal album Haazir.