Krishnakumar Kunnath, better known as KK, died at the age of 53 after a concert in the city of Kolkata, sparking a lot of mourning and questioning.
Indian singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, better known as KK, died after falling ill at a concert, an incident that has raised questions about the venue’s arrangements.
Kunath, 53, complained of unease as he performed in a crowded auditorium in Kolkata, the capital of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, on Tuesday night.
He was rushed from the hotel to hospital at 10.30pm local time (1700GMT), where doctors pronounced him dead, local media reported.
Tributes poured into social media for the singer, with condolences from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Bollywood singers and actors.
“His songs reflect a wide range of emotions [they] Resonates with people of all ages. We will always remember him through his songs,” Modi tweeted.
Questions about arrangements
While the singer’s cause of death remains unknown and an autopsy is expected later on Wednesday, questions have been raised about arrangements at the Nazrul Mancha auditorium in Kolkata, where the air conditioning is said to be not working.
India’s NDTV news channel said in a report that video taken by fans at the concert showed the singer “wiping his face and sweating profusely during the break”.
“At one point, KK was seen gesturing to a man on stage, seemingly talking about air conditioning,” the report said.
Many on social media said the 2,400-seat auditorium was full.
Authorities in West Bengal have launched an investigation into the singer’s death.
West Bengal government minister Aroop Biswas said Kunnath died of “suspected cardiac arrest”.
But police said they were investigating whether he died of an “unnatural death”, with media reports of injuries to his face and head.
Police officer Sanjoy Mukherjee said: “We are still talking to hotel authorities and scrutinizing CCTV footage to understand what happened before he was taken to hospital.”
‘Leaving too soon’
Kunnath has sung several songs for Bollywood films and music albums and often performs in live concerts.
I don’t think celebrity deaths affected me as much as KK’s. I didn’t think I had to mourn him so soon. Every song he sings, he sings beautifully. He really is the voice of a post-90s child. There is only pain and nostalgia for now. Rest in peace, KK. 💔
— Sanyukta (@dramadhikari) June 1, 2022
The multi-talented singer was born in Delhi and has recorded songs in languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali.
His hits in the 2000s included “Aankhon mein teri” (In Your Eyes) from the movie Om Shanti Om and “Khuda jaane” (God Knows) from Bachna Ae Haseeno.
One of the Hindi songs he sang at his final concert included “Pal” (moment), with lyrics that read “Whether we are alive or not, we will remember this moment”.
Life hurts you little by little..Occasionally..it destroys you..KK will always be the eternal boy who refused to grow up..He stayed pure and flawless..how he did it all these years. . Keep it simple and straight to the point! pic.twitter.com/T9bquqNWXM
— Shaan (@singer_shaan) June 1, 2022
“I can’t believe such a talented artist just left us. He had two back-to-back shows in Kolkata,” said music composer Anupam Roy.
Fans paid tribute to his management for an Instagram post showing KK singing in front of a roaring crowd.
“RIP, you will always be in our hearts,” one user wrote.
“You’re gone too early!!!!!!” commented another.
The Indian film industry has lost a string of luminaries in recent years, including iconic singer Rata Mangishkar, who turned 92 in February, and legendary actor Dilip Kumar, who turned 98 in 2021.
The year before, India lost much-loved singer SP Balasubrahmanyam as well as actors Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput.
Sidhu Moose Wala, a Punjabi rapper who is 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 killing was linked to organised crime.