Krishnakumar Kunnath (popularly known as KK) was an Indian playback singer. He recorded songs in several languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Bengali, Assamese and Gujarati.
He began his career by singing advertisement jingles, and made his film debut with an A.R. Rahman soundtrack. In 1999, he launched his debut album titled Pal. The songs “Pal” and “Yaaron” from the album Pal became very popular and are commonly used in school farewells. His popular songs included “Tadap Tadap Ke Is Dil Se” from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), the Tamil song “Apadi Podu”, “Dola Re Dola” from Devdas (2002), “Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai” from Woh Lamhe… (2006), “Aankhon Mein Teri” from Om Shanti Om (2007), “Khuda Jane” from Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008), “Piya Aaye Na” from Aashiqui 2 (2013), “Mat Aazma Re” from Murder 3 (2013), “India Wale” from Happy New Year (2014) and “Tu Jo Mila” from Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015).
Born in Delhi on 23 August 1968 to Malayali parents, KK grew up in New Delhi. He sang 3,500 jingles before breaking into Bollywood. He attended Delhi’s Mount St Mary’s School, and Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. He made an appearance in the song “Josh of India”, released to support the Indian Cricket Team during the 1999 Cricket World Cup.
KK married Jyothy in 1991. His son Nakul Krishna Kunnath sang the song “Masti” from his album Humsafar with him. KK also had a daughter.
On 31 May 2022, KK performed a live music concert in the Gurudas College festival at Nazrul Mancha auditorium, in South Kolkata. After the concert, he returned to his hotel in Esplanade. He complained of feeling unwell soon after his performance on the way back to his hotel, where he had a cardiac arrest. He collapsed, and efforts to revive him at the hotel were unsuccessful. He was rushed to Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) at around 10:30 pm, where he was declared dead. He was 53 years old at the time of his death.
In a Hindustan Times interview, KK was asked if getting nominated for several awards but winning only a few bothered him. KK replied that it did not, adding, “As a singer, I haven’t felt any lesser by not getting an award. Winning or not winning an award doesn’t affect me. I just like to do my work in the best possible manner. I am happy getting good songs. I am happy not getting awards.”