In what has come as a huge shock to the Indian film industry, especially the music fraternity, Krishnakumar Kunnath, the Indian playback singer popularly known as KK, died on Tuesday night, after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest post a concert performance in Kolkata.
The 53-year-old singer was in the city for a two-day concert and reportedly fell ill during the last event at Nazrul Mancha. He was taken to the CMRI hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival, at around 10 pm.
An artist who performed until his last breath, KK has lent his voice to songs across varied languages from Hindi to Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, and Malayalam, to name a few. In particular, KK gained immense popularity in the Tamil film industry, owing to his frequent collaborations with composers like Harris Jayaraj, AR Rahman, Deva, and Yuvan Shankar Raja. The singer’s songs from the late 90s and early 2000s have been smashing hits, and are still fondly reminisced by fans.
In remembrance of a well-loved voice, Silverscreen India brings to you a curated list of some popular Tamil songs sung by KK.
Kalyaanam Thaan (Saamy)
This 2003 action film starring Vikram and Trisha was a blockbuster at multiple levels, be it at the box office or the film’s music. While the cop drama uplifted actors like Trisha and was lauded for actor Vivekh‘s comedy, Saamy’s music album also ruled the time. One song, Kalyaanam Thaan voiced by KK alongside Yugendran, and Srilekha Parthasarathy, became a huge hit, contributing to the overall success of the film. Composed by Harris, this folk number has lyrics penned by Snehan.
Uyirin Uyire (Kaakha Kaakha)
In the same year as Saamy was released, KK and Harris reunited again for a cop drama, but this time directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon, starring Suriya and Jyothika. In contrast to what the musician’s duo did with Saamy, Harris made KK sing a fast-paced melody with Uyirin Uyire. KK sang the song alongside Suchitra, with the lyrics written by Thamirai. Shot in a beach at Andaman Islands, Uyirin Uyire can be still called as one of the greatest hits of the duo, Harris and KK.
Appadi Podu (Ghilli)
Continuing his successful streak of singing for star-studded films, KK sang Appadi Podu in 2004 for the Vijay and Trisha-starrer, Ghilli. Another chartbuster hit, needless to mention the film’s huge success, the song was composed by Vidyasagar. KK sung along with Anuradha Sriram, with lyrics penned by Pa Vijay. Another peppy, folk number, Appadi Podu combined with its fast beats and quick dance steps, still evoke a sense of nostalgia for Vijay’s films from the 2000s, to the 90s generation.
The early 2000s indeed proved to be one of the best phases for KK in Tamil, as he delivered yet another popular song, Andangkaka from Anniyan (2005). Directed by Shankar, with music composed by Harris, the song features colourful sets and costumes, in coordination with Sadha and Vikram’s energetic choreography. A fast-paced, folk number, KK sang this song alongside Jassie Gift, Shreya Ghoshal, and Saindhavi.
Strawberry Kannae (Minsara Kanavu)
One of the first few songs sung by KK, when he had just entered the Tamil industry, Strawberry Kannae was voiced by the late singer, alongside Febi Mani. Composed by Rahman, this 1997 romantic comedy-drama starring Prabhu Deva, Arvind Swami, and Kajol had one of the best musical albums in the 90s. Strawberry Kannae featured the characters of Prabhu Deva and Kajol having a jovial exchange of arguments.
Ninaithu (7G Rainbow Colony)
Released in 2004, 7G Rainbow Colony had two versions of Ninaithu, one by KK and the other by Shreya Ghoshal. The melody’s lyrics were penned by Na Muthukumar, and the song evoked the feeling of grief that leaves one pining. Ninaithu is one of the times when KK paired up with Yuvan Shankar Raja. Aside from its commercial success and critical acclaim for its story by Selvaraghavan, 7G Rainbow Colony also topped the music charts, with Ninaithu being one of the reasons for the film’s success.
Kadhal Valarthe (Manmadhan)
In late 2004, Silambarasan’s romantic thriller Manmadhan was released, which again had its music composed by Yuvan. A melody that features a young man ruminating over his love life, its lyrics were penned by Muthukumar, with KK’s vocals.
Feel My Love (Kutty)
As much as KK has sung folksy, fast-paced numbers, he voiced several melodies, as well. In this 2010 Dhanush and Shriya Saran-starrer, KK has sung Feel My Love, which follows a young man trying to pursue his lady love. Devi Sri Prasad composed the music for the film.
Ollikuchi Udambu (Red)
Under Deva‘s music direction, KK sang Ollikuchi Udambu for the film Red that was released in 2002. The late singer voiced it alongside Anuradha Sriram. The action drama starred Ajith Kumar and Priya Gill.