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Hariharan Lets his Hair Down at Powai Dandiya

Elsie Gabriel

Celebrity singer had a blast at the Hiranandani dandiya at Powai on the 13th of October. Just having returned from the CWG performance did not deter him from performing, and dancing and sending the crowds crazy with his “Chappa Chappa Chale” number!

Hariharan has been a residence of Powai Vihar for more than a decade now and as much as he loves Powai, the people of Powai love him too!

Read on to find out a little more of his hardwork,  awards and family which made him what he is ultimately today.

Hariharan dancing wit dr anjali darade powai corporator.

Born in Bombay on April 3rd, 1955, Hariharan has bachelors degrees in science and law. The son of renowned Carnatic vocalists, the late Ananthasubramani “H. A. S. Mani” from Trivandrum and Shrimati Alamelu, Hariharan naturally inherited his parents’ musical talents.Hariharan’s mother was his first guruji. From her he picked up Carnatic music skills. Hariharan’s parents were musically open-minded and the young Hariharan was encouraged to listen to Hindustani music. Later, 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 nine hours of singing practice everyday. Hariharan’s affinity for ghazals lies in the fact that ghazals offer, in his words, “immense scope for innovation”. The committed Hariharan also put heart and soul into learning Urdu when he decided to become a ghazal singer. He has perfected his Urdu diction to such standards that even his audiences in Lucknow, the heartland of the language, have been wowed over.

Hariharan with asif khan organsier hiranandani garba

It was in 1977 that 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 the Hindi film ‘Gaman’. His ghazal ‘Ajeeb saane he mujh par qarar’ in that movie became such a hit that it won Hariharan an Uttar Pradesh state award, after which his career as a vocalist spiraled upward. In his early years Hariharan did the concert circuit and also performed on TV. He sang for a number of TV serials, e.g., “Junoon”. In addition, he cut several successful ghazal albums.

One of Hariharan’s first ghazal albums was “Abshaar-e-Ghazal” with Asha Bhosle, which scored Gold in sales. Another outstanding ghazal album was “Gulfam”, which not only hit Double Platinum in sales but also fetched Hariharan the Diva Award for the Best Album of the Year in 1994. Meanwhile, Hariharan sang in a number of Hindi movies such as “Sahibaan”, “Lamhe”, “Raam Nagari”, “Dard Ke Rishte”, Zamana” and “Sindoor”.

The Bombay-based Hariharan made his debut in the Tamil singing world in 1993 with the patriotic hit song “Thamizha thamizha” in “Roja” under the baton of A R Rehman. Two years later, Hariharan was adjudged “Best Male Playback Singer” in the Tamilnadu State Government Film Awards for 1995. It was teasing manner in which he sang “Konjanaal poru thalaivaa” (Aasai) that won Hariharan this honour. Subsequently, Tamil singing assignments began pouring in for Hariharan, and today there is no doubt that he is the most sought-after singer in SouthIndia.

The year 1996 was a milestone in Hariharan’s career, when the release of the Indian-English fusion album “Colonial Cousins” skyrocketed him to unprecedented fame. A collaborative effort with Bombay-based composer/singer Leslie Lewis, “Colonial Cousins” became the first Indian act to be featured on MTV Unplugged and also won the pair a string of national and international awards, including the MTV Indian Viewers’ Choice award and US Billboards award. Another milestone year was 1998, when the patriotic song “Mere dushman mere bhai” from the Hindi movie “Border” won Hariharan the coveted National Award for “Best Male Playback Singer”. That award capped a quest for excellence that started 20 years earlier when “Ajeeb saane he mujh par qarar” from “Gaman” won Hariharan a nomination for the National Award. Hariharan has developed a distinctive style of his own even though he admires the late Mohd Rafi and Kishore Kumar as well as S P Balasubramaniam and K J Jesudas.

Hariharan’s wife Lalita  and two sons Akshay and Karan are  his family, which he is very close to. In 2004, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri and Yesudas Award for his outstanding performance in music.Hariharan collaborated with Pakistan based band Strings for a track called “Bolo Bolo”. He released an album called Destiny with Punjabi / bhangra artist Daler Mehndi. He also coined the terminology “Urdu Blues” with his fairly successful album Kaash which featured musicians like Anandan Sivamani the percussion maestro, Ustaad Rashid Mustafa on tabla, Ustad Liyaqat Ali Khan on sitar and Ustad Sultan Khan on sarangi. Civilian Awards

•       2004 – Padma Shri

National Film Awards

•       1998 – National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer: Mere Dushman, Border

•       2009 – National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer: Jeev

Dangla Gungla Rangla, Jogva

Swaralaya-Kairali-Yesudas Award

•       2004 – For his outstanding contribution to Indian film music.corrected

Tamil Nadu State Film Awards

•       2004 – Best Male Playback Singer – for various films

•       1995 – Best Male Playback Singer – for the song Koncha Naal in the film Aasai

Andhra Pradesh Nandi Award

•       2000 – Best Male Playback Singer – for the song Hima Semalloyallo in the film Annayya

He also, in October, performed the Swagatham song in the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in India, New Delhi

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