Chitra Iyer (also credited as Chitra Sivaraman) is an Indian playback singer who has worked in Indian films across five different industries primarily in Malayalam.
A resident of Bangalore, Chitra worked extensively with A. R. Rahman during the early 2000s on his Tamil films, while also having an alternate career as a television host and actress on Malayalam television.
Chitra Iyer is married to former Air Force pilot Vinod Sivaraman since 12 July 1989. The pair met at the insistence of their parents at Chennai Gymkhana Club in early 1989, and have since had two daughters Aditi and Anjali. In recent years, alongside her television commitments, Chitra has worked as the founder and trustee of the Society for Elephant Welfare in Kerala. She has also promoted farming with the state, supporting a project launched by her mother Rohini Iyer. Likewise, she launched a software company, Darkhorse Productions, in 2013 alongside her daughters Aditi and Anjali Sivaraman.
Early in her career, Chitra Iyer attempted to reach out to composer A. R. Rahman to work with him, but found it difficult as she was based out of Bangalore. In 2000, Rahman initiated contact with Chitra and invited her to come to Chennai with a demo cassette of her work, with Chitra recording a series of Tamil and Malayalam songs. On the day of her visit to Chennai, Rahman immediately heard the songs and hired her to record for the song "Athini Sithini" for the film Thenali (2000) during the same evening. She subsequently continued to work for other composers in Tamil cinema including Karthik Raja, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Bharathwaj and Vidyasagar under her post-marriage name of Chitra Sivaraman. Furthermore, apart from in her mother tongue of Tamil, Chitra continued to sing playback for Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi films.
In the Malayalam entertainment industry, she had an alternate career as an anchor of a Malayalam singing show, Jeeva's Sapta Swarangal and hosted it under her maiden name, Chitra Iyer. Having done her education in Kerala, she had a good foundation in the Malayalam language, with her work on the show leading to further opportunities to sing for films.