Popular Bollywood singer KK has passed away at the age of 53 following a “suspected cardiac arrest” during a performance at a recent concert.
KK – real name Krishnakumar Kunnath – was performing at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata on May 31 when he complained of discomfort, according to a report by the Hindustan Times. The singer took a break from the performance after reportedly feeling uneasy and complaining about the heat from the stage lights, and felt cold on his way back to his hotel.
He reportedly collapsed while on the way to a hospital, where he was declared dead.
Kunnath was known for his versatility, recording songs in various Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese and Gujarati. His most popular works remain the soundtracks he has contributed to over his long career, having provided the voice to memorable tracks like ‘Tadap Tadap’ (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam), ‘Dus Bahane’ (Dus), and ‘Tune Maari Entriyaan’ (Gunday).
Kunnath released his debut album ‘Pal’ in 1999, and his single ‘Yaaron Dosti Badi Hi Haseen Hai’ is regarded as one of the most popular songs of that decade. He released a sophomore album, ‘Humsafar’, in 2008, and wasfeatured in several compilations.
He had been nominated for Best Playback Singer multiple times at India’s renowned Filmfare Awards, taking home the prize once at the 2009 ceremony for his work on ‘Khuda Jaane’ from the 2008 romantic comedy Bachna Ae Haseeno.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those who have since paid respect to the singer in the wake of his passing. “Saddened by the untimely demise of noted singer Krishnakumar Kunnath popularly known as KK,” he wrote. “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.”
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 31, 2022
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai director Karan Johar followed suit with a tribute on Twitter, writing, “Heartbreaking news on the sudden passing away of such an incredible talent. RIP KK, the entertainment world has lost a true artist today. Om Shanti.”
Heartbreaking news on the sudden passing away of such an incredible talent…. RIP KK…💔 the entertainment world has lost a true artist today….Om Shanti 🙏 pic.twitter.com/SiKQutPJVO
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) May 31, 2022
See more tributes to Kunnath below.
Extremely sad and shocked to know of the sad demise of KK. What a loss! Om Shanti 🙏🏻
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) May 31, 2022
KK was an artist you'd discover in private. His best works were all about personal moments of loss & vulnerability.
Sach Keh Raha Hai, Tadap Tadap Ke, Yaaron, Awarapan Banjarapan, Maine Dil Se Kaha.
His voice was a candle in a dark room, a ग़म-गुसार.
Goodbye and thanks, sir. pic.twitter.com/p28vA8zoDD
— वरुण 🇮🇳 (@varungrover) May 31, 2022
In a state of total shock.Just met him last month for the 1st time & felt that we'd known each other for years.The chatter wouldn't just stop.And I was so moved to see the love he had for Gulzar saab.He said he stepped into this world with Chhor aaye hum & sang it as a tribute. pic.twitter.com/7yVdYaCleM
— Srijit Mukherji (@srijitspeaketh) May 31, 2022
Extremely sad and devastated. Another shocking loss for all of us. Can’t believe our KK sir is no more… what is even happening. I can’t take it anymore.
— ARMAAN MALIK (@ArmaanMalik22) May 31, 2022