KK, Popular Indian Singer, Dies at 53

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Krishnakumar Kunnath, the Indian singer popularly known as KK, died of a cardiac arrest while performing a concert at Nazrul Mancha, Kolkata on Tuesday. He was 53.

Known as one of the most versatile singers in the country, KK sang across languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese and Gujarati.

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After a successful career singing advertising jingles, KK debuted in films in 1996 with Hindi and Telugu-language versions of composer A.R. Rahman’s soundtrack for “Kadal Desam” and for “Maachis,” composed by Vishal Bhardwaj. Those soundtracks were hits, followed by the “Strawberry” song from Rahman’s “Minsara Kanavu” (1997).

In 1999, his album “Pal” for Sony Music India, composed by Leslie Lewis, proved to be a massive success.

KK went on to enjoy a career with hit film songs across Indian languages including “Tadap Tadap” from “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” (1999), “Dola Re Dola” from “Devdas” (2002), “Appadi Podu” from “Ghilli” (2004), “Aankhon Mein Teri” from “Om Shanti Om” (2007), “Khuda Jane” from “Bachna Ae Haseeno” (2009), “Piya Aaye Na” from “Aashiqui 2” (2013), “India Wale” from “Happy New Year” (2014) and “Tu Jo Mila” from “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” (2015), among many others. Among his last film songs were in 2021’s “Bob Biswas” and “’83.”

KK is survived by his wife Jyothy and a son and a daughter.

The Indian entertainment industry is in shock at the news of KK’s death. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tributes.

“Saddened by the untimely demise of noted singer Krishnakumar Kunnath popularly known as KK,” Modi tweeted. “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.”

Composer Vishal Dadlani tweeted: “The tears won’t stop. What a guy he was. What a voice, what a heart, what a human being. #KK is FOREVER!!!”

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