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Indian singer KK dies aged 53 after falling ill while performing

Krishnakumar Kunnath, a star Bollywood singer best known as KK, complained of feeling cold and unwell before collapsing

KK (centre) performs with Mohit Chauhan (left), and Shaan (right) at a concert in Mumbai in 2021.
KK (centre) performs with Mohit Chauhan (left), and Shaan (right) at a concert in Mumbai in 2021. Photograph: Sujit Jaiswal/AFP/Getty Images
KK (centre) performs with Mohit Chauhan (left), and Shaan (right) at a concert in Mumbai in 2021. Photograph: Sujit Jaiswal/AFP/Getty Images

Star Bollywood singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, popularly known as KK, has died of a suspected heart attack at age 53 after a concert on Tuesday, prompting a flood of tributes from fans including Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

“His songs reflected a wide range of emotions as struck a chord with people of all age groups,” Modi said on Twitter.

“We will always remember him through his songs. Condolences to his family and fans.”

May 31, 2022</a></blockquote>\n","url":"https://twitter.com/narendramodi/status/1531705161109843968?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1531705161109843968%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdeadline.com%2F2022%2F05%2Fkk-dead-indian-playback-singer-1235036075%2F","id":"1531705161109843968","hasMedia":false,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"fc037754-1d6f-455e-a461-da2c464bda84"}}">

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

Kunnath felt unwell while performing at a concert in Kolkata, according to the Times of India and other local media. After the show, he reportedly complained of feeling extremely cold and wanted to return to his hotel.

He was rushed to a hospital in south Kolkata from his hotel after collapsing around 10:30pm local time, where doctors pronounced him dead, the newspaper reported.

Indian minister Aroop Biswas, who rushed to the hospital after hearing the news, said Kunnath’s wife and son were flying to Kolkata. “I am here to offer all possible help to the family,” he said.

Born in Delhi in 1968, the versatile singer recorded songs in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali, among other languages.

Beginning his career in jingles, Kunnath made his big-screen debut in the 1990s. As a playback singer, his songs were dubbed over films, with the actors lip-syncing along.

His biggest hits included Tadap Tadap Ke, Dus Bahane, Tune Maari Entriyaan, Dola Re Dola from the 2002 movie Devdas and Khuda Jaane from the 2008 romantic comedy Bachna Ae Haseeno.

He also released two studio albums, 1999’s Pal and 2008’s Humsafar, and worked as a judge and mentor on reality singing shows.

Thousands of fans took to his Instagram page to pay their respects, where a photo of Kunnath singing in front of a roaring crowd posted earlier in the day was accompanied with the caption: “Pulsating gig tonight at Nazrul Mancha ... Love you all.”

He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.