Noted Bollywood singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, popularly known as KK, died in Kolkata on Tuesday night, officials said. He was 53, and survived by wife and two sons.
According to the reports, soon after performing at a concert organised by a college at Nazrul Mancha in south Kolkata for almost an hour in the evening, KK reached his hotel ‘feeling heavy’ and soon collapsed.
He was immediately rushed to a nearby private hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, reports added.
“KK was brought to the hospital around 10 pm. It’s unfortunate that we could not treat him,” a senior official of the hospital said as quoted by news agency PTI.
Doctors at the hospital said they suspected “cardiac arrest” to be the cause of the death.
A senior officer of the Kolkata Police told PTI that a post-mortem would be conducted on Wednesday to ascertain the exact reason for the death.
KK started his film playback career with Gulzar when he sang the memorable track “Chhod Aaye Hum Woh Galiyaan” composed by Vishal Bhardwaj for the 1996 film “Maachis”, also directed by Gulzar.
The singer-lyricist duo went on to collaborate for films such as 2001’s “Aks”, 2002’s “Filhaal ” and “Saathiya”, and “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom” in 2007, among others.
Condolences Pour In
Condoling his death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said KK will always be remembered through his songs.
“Saddened by the untimely demise of noted singer Krishnakumar Kunnath popularly known as KK. His songs reflected a wide range of emotions as struck a chord with people of all age groups. We will always remember him through his songs. Condolences to his family and fans. Om Shanti,” Modi tweeted.
“I have so many personal memories with him. We started our careers together. He was such a nice and non-controversial person. Life has become so unpredictable and uncertain after the pandemic,” singer-turned-politician Babul Supriyo told reporters after reaching the hospital.
“KK has a big contribution to the advent of rock music in India,” said Supriyo, a TMC MLA.
A police team was posted outside the hospital to manage KK’s fans who started gathering after hearing the news of his death.
As a playback singer, he has recorded popular Bollywood numbers such as ‘Ankhon Mein Teri’ (Om Shanti Om), ‘Zara Sa’ (Jannat), ‘Khuda Jaane’ (Bachna Ae Hasino) and ‘Tadap Tadap’ (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam).
A versatile singer, KK has also recorded songs in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali, among other languages.
Actor Ajay Devgn said KK’s loss felt “ominous”.
It seems so ominous. The news of KK’s death that too right after a live performance is terrible. He sang for films I was associated with, so his loss seems that much more personal, he wrote on Twitter.
Actor Emraan Hashmi, whose most popular songs such as “Dil Ibadat”, “Zara Sa” and many other tracks featured KK as the playback singer, said working with the singer was always “special”.
“A voice and talent like no other.. They don’t make them like him anymore. Working on the songs he sang was always that much more special. You will always be in our hearts KK and live eternally through your songs. RIP Legend KK #ripkk,” the actor said.
Singer Mohit Chauhan said KK’s death was the loss of a dear friend and brother for him.
“KK… not fair man. Not your time to go. This was the last time we were together to announce a tour together. How can you just go??? In shock. In grief. A dear dear friend, a brother is gone. RIP KK. Love you,” Chauhan wrote.
Filmmaker Farah Khan, whose “Om Shanti Om” featured popular KK song ‘Aankhon mein ajab si’, said the singer stood out in the industry.
“You have gone too soon KK… u were so different and real.. in a super ambitious industry u stood out for your unfilminess.. #realartist thank you for giving my films your iconic voice,” she wrote on Instagram.
Singer Shankar Mahadevan said he felt numb and devastated.
Numb devastated .. just can’t take this .. KK how could you just go like this .love you buddy . Rest in peace . hum rahe ya na rahen yaad aayenge ye pal’, the singer-composer said in a tweet.
Regarded as one of the most versatile singers of his generation, KK was able to mould his voice to suit the on-screen persona of the country’s biggest stars such as Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Emraan Hashmi and Ranbir Kapoor.
A musician whose voice shaped much of my childhood, actor Varun Dhawan said, paying tribute to the artiste whose voice defined two important decades in Bollywood.
Sharing KK’s moments from his last performance, singer Mika Singh said he is shocked as the news comes days after Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala was killed.
Yet another shocking and heartbreaking news.. the most talented and the down to earth singer @kk_singer_live sadly passed away today. Oh God what is happening? May God bless his soul and he rest in eternal peace. Still in complete shock.
As an independent artist, KK’s popular albums ‘Pal’ and ‘Humsafar’ stand the test of time and are a walk down memory lane for the millennials who are now all grown up today.
Actor Kamal Haasan said the untimely death of KK was shocking.
The news of the untimely death of Krishnakumar Kunnath alias KK, who entertained the fans by singing in multiple languages, is shocking. My condolences to the family, friends and fans who lost him, the South superstar wrote.
One of the early hits of KK was the song ‘Yaaron Dosti’ from the 1999 coming-of-age film “Rockford”, which is one of the best odes to friendship in the modern era.
Filmmaker Karan Johar said in KK’s sudden death the entertainment world “has lost a true artist”.
Lyricist-writer Varun Grover paid a heartfelt tribute to KK, an artist whose songs, he said, were all about loss and vulnerability.
“KK was an artist you’d discover in private. His best works were all about personal moments of loss & vulnerability,” he said.
Actor R Madhavan said he was heartbroken. KK had memorably sung “Sach Keh Raha Hai Deewana” for Madhavan in “Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein”.
“… lost a wonderful human and a great voice today. Rest In Peace bro. The heavens are luckier,” he tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)