Kher was born on 7 July 1973 in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. His father Mehar Chand Kher and his mother Chandrakanta were from Meerut. Kher's father was an amateur musician whose performances of traditional folk songs were a regular household event. Kher's first brush with music hence, came in his childhood. Brought up in a musical atmosphere, from his school days, he was enchanted and fascinated by music and used to listen to his father's Indian folks songs all day. Even as a four-year-old, Kher revealed a natural musical talent and he would often impress friends and family by belting out songs with his prematurely powerful voice.
At the age of 14, Kher left home in search of a guru or an institution to further his musical training, and he embarked on years of classical and folk music study. According to him, "It was because I wanted to pursue my passion for music. It required me to stay in isolation". He also attended music classes and would teach the same to students for just Rs. 150 per session to maintain himself, taking care of all his personal expenses from lodging to food, plus his education and music expenses.
Although he couldn't find the right guru or a school, he started learning music by listening to it. He listened to Indian classical singers like Pandit Kumar Gandharv, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Gokulotsav Maharaj and later even Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Lata Mangeshkar and their contemporaries
Later, after he relocated to Delhi with his family, he graduated from Delhi University through the correspondence program
In 2001, Kher left New Delhi for Mumbai, the epicenter of India's highly competitive music industry, to seek his fortunes as a professional singer. For a while, Kher struggled, living in cheap residence, hostels and eking out whatever musical work he could find to make ends meet.