KK: Star Indian singer dies at the age of 53 shortly after a concert in Kolkata

Krishnakumar Kunnath, better known as KK, dies at the age of 53 after a concert in Kolkata, which sparked a flood of honors and questions.

Indian singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, better known as KK, died after falling ill in the middle of a concert, with the incident raising questions about the venue.

Kunnath, 53, performed in a crowded auditorium on Calcutta, the capital of the East Indian state of West Bengal, on Tuesday night when he complained of unrest.

At about 22:30 local time (17:00 GMT), he was taken to hospital from his hotel, where doctors declared him dead, local media reported.

Van carrying the body of Indian singer Krishnakumar Kunnath in Kolkata, India [Piyal Adhikary/EPA]

Tributes to the singer flocked to social media, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Bollywood singers and actors expressing their condolences.

“His songs reflected a wide range of emotions [they] attracted people of all ages. We will always remember him through his songs, “Modi said on Twitter.

Questions about the arrangement

While the cause of the singer’s death remains unknown and an autopsy is expected later on Wednesday, there are questions about the arrangement in the Calcutta auditorium of Nazrul Mancha, where the air conditioning allegedly did not work properly.

The Indian news channel NDTV said in a report that videos shot by fans at the concert show that the singer “sweated profusely when he took a break to wipe his face.”

“At one point, KK was seen gesturing at a man on stage and seemed to be talking about air conditioning,” the report said.

Many on social media said the auditorium with a capacity of 2,400 people was overcrowded.

Authorities in West Bengal have launched an investigation into the singer’s death.

Indian singer KK
KK during a concert in Mumbai [File: Sujit Jaiswal/AFP]

Aroop Biswas, the government minister in West Bengal, said Kunnath had died of a “suspected cardiac arrest.”

However, police said they were investigating whether he had died an “unnatural death,” and the media said he had injuries to his face and head.

“We also talk to hotel authorities and examine CCTV footage to understand what happened before he was taken to the hospital,” said police officer Sanjoy Mukherjee.

‘Gone too soon’

Kunnath sang several songs for Bollywood movies and music albums and often performed at live concerts.

Born in Delhi, the versatile singer has recorded songs in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali, among others.

His 2000 hits included “Aankhon mein teri” (In Your Eyes) from Om Shanti Om and “Khuda jaane” (God Knows) by Bachna Ae Haseeno.

One of the Hindu songs he sang at his last concert included “Pal” (Moment), which reads “Whether we live or not, we will remember this moment.”

“I can’t believe that such a talented artist left us this way. In Calcutta, he had two consecutive programs, “said composer Anupam Roy.

Fans paid tribute to the Instagram post published by its management, with photos of KK singing in front of a roaring crowd.

“Rest in peace legend, you will always be in our heart,” wrote one user.

“You’re gone too soon !!!!!!” commented another.

The Indian film industry has lost a number of notable figures in recent years, including the iconic singer Lata Mangeshkar, who was 92 in February this year, and the legendary actor Dilip Kumar in 2021 at the age of 98.

The year before last, India lost the highly beloved singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, as well as actors Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput.

Sidhu Moose Wala, a Punjabi rapper popular at home and among the Indian diaspora in Britain and Canada, was shot dead in the northwestern state of Punjab on Sunday. Police believe the murder was linked to organized crime.


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