Hariharan is an Indian playback singer who has straddled classical as well as popular genres with equal ease and facility. He has sung more than 500 Tamil and a 100 Hindi songs and hundreds of songs in Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Bengali. is an established ghazal singer, and is one of the pioneers of Indian fusion music. His melody is much appreciated by the film fraternity. In 2004, he was honored with the Padma Shri by the Government of India and is a two time National Award winner.
Hariharan, associating with Leslie Lewis, formed Colonial Cousins, a two-member band. They many private music albums to their credit; and also scored music for a few feature films in Tamil cinema and Bollywood cinema.
At the start of his career, Hariharan did the concert circuit and also performed on TV. He sang for a number of TV serials (e.g., Junoon). In 1977, he 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 his new Hindi film Gaman (1978). His debut song "Ajeeb Saane He Mujh Par Qarar" in that movie became such a hit that it won him an Uttar Pradesh State Film Award, as well as a National Award nomination.