Daughter– Tamara Kunnath (singer, music composer, music producer)
|Full name||Krishna Kumar Kunnath |
|Nickname(s)||KK, Kay Kay |
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 165 cm
in meters– 1.65 m
in feet inches– 5’ 5”
|Debut||Album: Pal (1999)
Telugu Song: “Hello doctor” and “College Style” for the film Prema Desam (1996), a Telugu dubbed version of the Tamil film Kadhal Desam (1996)
|First Recorded Song||“College Style” and “Hello Dr” composed by A. R. Rahman for the film Duniya Dilwalon Ki (1996), a Hindi dubbed version of the Tamil film Kadhal Desam (1996)|
|Last Song||‘Yeh Hausle’ from the film 83 (2021)|
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Best Singer in Non-Film Music category at Screen Awards (1999) for the album Pal
• National Award for “Tu Aashiqui Hai” from the film “Jhankaar Beats” in 2003
• Goldie Film Awards, US for the Best Playback Singer Male for the song “Chalte Jaana Hain” from the film “Life! Camera Action…” in 2012
• Best Playback Singer (Male) at Screen Awards (2009) for the song “Khuda Jaane” from the film Bachna Ae Haseeno
• Hub Awards for Best Playback Singer Male in 2005
• Filmfare Awards South (Kannada) 2010 in the category of Best Playback Singer- Male
• Eenam-Swaralaya Singer Of The Year Award (2012)
|Date of Birth||23 August 1968 (Friday)|
|Date of Death||31 May 2022
|Place of Death||Reportedly, the singer fell ill following his performance at Nazrul Mancha auditorium in Kolkata. Around 10.30 p.m when he reached his hotel he was rushed to Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI), where he was declared brought dead.|
|Cremation Site||Versova Hindu Cemetery, Mumbai|
|Age (at the time of death)||53 Years|
|Death Cause||Cardiac Arrest (suspected) |
|School||Mount St. Mary’s School, New Delhi|
|College/University||Kirori Mal College, Delhi|
|Educational Qualification||A course in commerce at Kirori Mal College, Delhi |
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Married|
|Affairs/Girlfriends||Jyothy Lakshmi Krishna (1980-1991)|
|Marriage Date||Year, 1991
|Wife/Spouse||Jyothy Lakshmi Krishna (professional painter)
|Children||Son– Nakul Krishna Kunnath (singer, music composer, music producer)
Daughter– Tamara Kunnath (singer, music composer, music producer)
|Parents||Father– C. S. Nair
Mother– Kunnath Kanakavalli
|Cuisine(s)||South Indian, Italian|
|Singer(s)||Kishore Kumar, R.D. Burman, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Bryan Adams|
|Music Band(s)||Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Extreme, Eagles|
Some Lesser Known Facts About KK
- KK or Kay Kay (1968-2022) was a celebrated Indian playback singer who is popular for his soulful songs ‘Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai’ from Woh Lamhe… (2006), ‘Tu Hi Meri Shab’ Hai from Gangster (2007), ‘Aankhon Mein Teri’ from Om Shanti Om (2007), ‘Khuda Jane’ from Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008), and ‘Tu Jo Mila’ from Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015). On 31 May 2022, he died of cardiac arrest at Nazrul Mancha auditorium in Kolkata. Over the span of his 3-decade long career, KK recorded songs in various languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, and Gujarati.
- While talking about how he developed an interest in music, he said,I am one of those guys who have a natural affinity for music. I was born into a musical family: my grandmother was a music teacher and my mum used to perform. I picked up music from an early age and I learned songs and sang them. I loved performing in front of my family and friends and I really enjoyed the applause.”
- Growing up, KK participated in various music competitions and was also a member of rock bands during his school and college days.
- In an interview, he revealed that he had never felt the need to learn music. Therefore, when his parents enrolled him in a music class during his childhood, he quit the class just after three days. He said,I went there only for three days. I hated it because for me music had no boundaries and I couldn’t understand why one needed to learn singing. So I left, and I never went back.”
- Surprisingly, the singer never received formal training in music.
- The first song performed by him on stage was Fernando by ABBA when he was studying in Class 9.
- In 1980 he first met Jyothy Lakshmi during his school days and fell in love with her instantly. When KK was in 10th standard, he proposed to Jyothy and asked her to be his life partner.
- In an interview, he shared that he sang his favourite romantic song “Pyaar Deewana Hota Hai” for Jyothy at his colony’s annual function. While recalling the same, he said,Uss time mummy papa bhi baithe hote the, toh aise direct bhi nahi ho sakte the, toh beech beech mein teen chaar baar steal kar liya gaate gaate”(At that time our parents also used to be there, so I couldn’t be so direct. So, I used to steal glances while singing)
- Determined to marry the love of his life, KK pursued a job in sales for six months in order to be an eligible groom. Comically sharing his love story during an interview, he said,Job karni zaroori thi, nahi toh main agar bolta ki main gaata hun, toh vo bolte gaata toh main bhi hun, kaam kya karte ho?”(It was necessary for me to take up a job else they would have asked me what do I do, and they would have ignored me if I said I sing)
- In Delhi, he recorded his first jingle ‘Usha the number one’ after which he realized that Mumbai was a better place to start a music career.
- Following his marriage in 1991, he had a short stint as a marketing associate in the hotel industry, but soon he moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in music.
- After relocating to Mumbai, he embarked on his musical journey as a jingle singer when he presented his demo tapes to Louis Banks, Ranjit Barot and Lesle Lewis in 1994. After numerous frustrating attempts to break into the Bollywood music industry, KK finally secured a break from the UTV media company when he voiced a one-minute jingle for Santogen Suitings.
- After the recording, Music director Ranjit Barot approached KK to inquire about his rate. Completely unaware of the payment system of the industry, KK was apprehensive to answer. Later, when Ranjit flashed his five fingers, KK thought that he would be paid Rs. 500. However, he was amazed to receive Rs. 5000.
- KK was an established jingle singer with 3,500 jingles in eleven Indian languages under his belt which included ‘Yo Frooti’ and ‘Pepsi’s Yeh Dil Mange More.’
- He considered Lesle Lewis his mentor and attributed his success in the jingle business to him.
- He voiced the song “Strawberry Kannae” for the Tamil film Minsara Kanavu (1997) and “Strawberry Ankhein” for the film’s Hindi dubbed version, Sapnay (1997). Other dubbed songs that he voiced include “Yedu Rangula Prema” and “Maargayare” for the Telugu film ‘Prema Nagar,’ dubbed version of Tamil Minsara Kanavu (1997).
- In 1999, he gained recognition with his debut album, Pal, released under the label Sony Music India. Composed by Lesle Lewis, the album was immensely popular among the 90s youth for its light-hearted, romantic, and collegiate songs. The songs “Pal” and “Yaaron” from the album were commonly played in school and college farewells at that time.
- In the same year, he shot to fame with A.R. Rahman’s chartbuster song ‘Tadap Tadap’ from the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
- Although KK’s album Pal catapulted him to the top, the glam and lustre of Bollywood led him to pursue a career in playback singing instead of releasing non-film songs. While talking about the same in an interview, he said,For me both ‘Pal’ and ‘Tadap tadap’ from ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ happened at the same time. There were suddenly two roads in front of me. I felt that one couldn’t beat the popularity the filmy route can give. To make your own music, one has to disconnect from the surrounding, which I didn’t intend to.”
- He also lent his voice to the song ‘Josh of India’ dedicated to the Indian Cricket Team during the 1999 Cricket World Cup.
- In 2001, Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, and KK collaboratively voiced the crowd puller song “Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe,” which was featured in the film ‘Dil Chahta Hai.’ In the following years, he sang numerous hit songs like ‘Such Keh Raha Hai’ from Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein (2001), ‘Zara Sa’ and ‘Dil Ibaadat’ from Jannat (2008), and ‘Piya Aaye Na’ from Aashiqui 2 (2013).
- In 2005, he appeared as a judge in the music reality TV show Fame Gurukul.
- He recreated the song ‘Tu Aashiqui Hain’ when he appeared on MTV Coke Studio (Season 1). In 2014, he appeared on MTV Unplugged(India)-Season 3.
- Apart from films, he has also worked as a playback singer to voice title songs of various Indian TV shows Just Mohabbat (1996), Shaka Laka Boom Boom (2001), Star Parivaar Awards (2010), and Just Dance (2011). In 2008, he sang “Tanha Chala” for the Pakistani TV show The Ghost.
- Kunnath is his mother’s house name. 
- The song ‘Maa’ from the film “Taare Zameen Par (2007),” was initially voiced by KK following which he was asked to make a few changes. When KK was unable to do so, the song was re-recorded with Shankar Mahadevan.
- He released his second album, Humsafar, in 2008. The album consisted of the song Raina Bhai Kaari, a mix of Bengali Baul with rock and a tinge of S D Burman. The song “Cineraria,” from the album is an English rock number. For one of the songs of the album titled ‘Masti,’ KK collaborated with his son, Nakul, who was then 13 years old.
- In 2013, a musical project called Rise Up (Colors of Peace) was launched to turn Fethullah Gülen’s poems and writings in the Turkish language into songs. An album of world music, Rise Up contained songs sung by different artists from 12 countries including KK who lent his voice to the song “Rose of My Heart.”
- After a gun salute, his mortal remains were taken to the airport and his body was flown to Mumbai, where his last rites will be performed.
- He owned an Audi RS5.