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West Bengal Government pays homage to singer KK with a gun salute

Gun salute being given to Bollywood playback singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, popularly known as ‘KK’, during a ceremony to pay tribute to him, at Rabindra Sadan in Kolkata on June 1, 2022.

Gun salute being given to Bollywood playback singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, popularly known as ‘KK’, during a ceremony to pay tribute to him, at Rabindra Sadan in Kolkata on June 1, 2022. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

The autopsy of popular singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, also known as KK, who died in Kolkata following a concert, was performed at the State-run SSKM Hospital on Wednesday. The singer died late on Tuesday evening after a live concert at the Nazrul Manch auditorium, which was organised by the city-based Gurudas College. 

The West Bengal Government paid tribute to the singer with a gun salute at Rabindra Sadan, the city’s cultural complex. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who cut short a district tour, was present, along with the late singer’s family members. Family members arrived in the city on Wednesday morning. Earlier in the day, Ms. Banerjee described KK as a “youth icon” and a “versatile singer”.

Meanwhile, Kolkata police has registered a case of unnatural death at the New Market Police Station. Senior officials of Kolkata police visited the five-star hotel in the Esplanade area where the singer was staying. There are reports that KK fell inside his room and there is an injury mark on his forehead. Questions have also been raised over the arrangements for the concert at Nazrul Manch. Many among those who were present on Tuesday said the venue was overcrowded. The singer started feeling unwell during the event and even asked organisers to switch off the floodlights. There are videos of him sweating and wiping his face with a towel at the event. 

KK was taken to the Calcutta Medical Research Institute at about 10.30 p.m., where he was declared dead. According to doctors, the death was due to a cardiac arrest. KK’s manager said he complained of a chill when he left the stadium for the hotel, and fell as he entered the hotel room.

At Nazrul Manch on Tuesday evening, KK sang about 20 songs, mostly Bollywood numbers. The last song on the list was the hit single from his debut album ‘ Pal’: “ Hum, rahen ya na rahen kal, kal yaad aayenge yeh pal (whether I am around or not tomorrow, this moment will be remembered forever), which was released in 1999. KK went on to become a versatile singer and recorded songs not only for Hindi films but also for Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Bengali films. He also sang a number of ad jingles.

Born on August 23, 1968 to Malayali parents in Delhi, his first break came in Tamil cinema when he collaborated with A.R. Rahman for the film  Kadhal Desam. For Hindi films, he sang in Gulzar’s Maachis, for which Vishal Bhardwaj was the music director. The song  ‘Chhod aaye hum woh galiyan’ had KK singing with singers trained in classical music, including Hariharan and Suresh Wadekar. KK said in interviews that he had never learnt singing from anyone and was inspired by the legendary Kishore Kumar. 

The singer lent his evocative voice to hundreds of songs but some of the hits that will be remembered include ‘ Ajab si’  from  Om Shanti Om, ‘ Tadap tadap’ from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and ‘ Khuda jaane’ from Bachna Ae Haseeno

Tributes poured in from across the country at the sudden death of the versatile singer, whose songs celebrated love and friendship. Along with the Chief Minister and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, singer-turned-politician Babul Supriyo, singer Anupam Roy and music director Jeet Ganguly offered rich tributes to KK. Soon after the news of his death broke on Tuesday evening, several people, including Mr. Supriyo and Mr. Ganguly, rushed to the hospital.

After the gun salute, the body was flown to Mumbai for the final rites. 

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2022 8:28:33 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/west-bengal-government-pays-homage-to-singer-kk-with-a-gun-salute/article65483293.ece