First to popularize pop music in the Tamil language, first to record the evergreen song “Surangani”. Singing in Sinhala, Tamil and English, he easily captured the hearts & minds of Sri Lankan audiences across the country. His voice lives on, though he is no more.
His father Emmanuel Pillai Manoharan was a Jaffna Tamil from Eeachamoattai near Paashaiyoor in Jaffna. While teaching in the up country, he fell in love with a highland’s lass from the Indian Tamil community and married her. This was frowned upon by his Jaffna relatives and the man domiciled himself permanently in Bogawantalawa, where he became the Principal of Bogawantalawa Maha Vidyalayam. The family was devoutly Catholic and pillars of the Holy Rosary Church in Bogawantalawa, where Manoharan’s flair for singing was first noted.
Music Popular as a Tamil pop singer, A.E. Manoharan started his career as an actor in the 50’s. He entered the music scene in the 70’s whilst working as a Producer of Drama in the Commercial section of the SLBC. “Muruga”, “Hai Hooi Babi Achchi” are some of his favourites. He has sung nearly 500 pop songs.
Manoharan was always seen at live Sooriya stage shows & radio shows.
A recognized actor in South India with a record of about 260 movies, acting along with superstars like Rajni Kanth, Kamal Hassan, Chiranjeevi, Raj Kumar, Mamooty, Prem Nasir, N.T. Rama Rao, Dharmendra and Madhavan, in Tamil, Malayalam, Sinhala and Hindi. Chettaniki Kallu Levu (1981), Padayottam (1982) and Aavesham (1979).
Manoharan also made a mark in Tamil television and was seen in the TV shows Thirumathi Selvam and Anjali.
A.E. Manoharan was honoured with an Appreciation Award at the 9th annual Awards Gala of the Canadian Tamils Chamber of Commerce, held on April 1, 2006 and the President’s Award as the Best Tamil Film of the Year in Sri Lanka (Vadakkattru, 1978).