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George Eliot once said, "Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them," those words seem true as millions of hearts mourn the demise of one of India's best playback singers, KK., as he makes his heavenly departure, KK has left us with miraculous music, and in this blog, we will reminisce his epic journey and contribution to the world of music.
Krishna Kumar Kunnath, popularly known as KK, started his journey as a playback singer by singing jingles for advertisement campaigns. However, he made his debut in Bollywood with an A.R Rahman soundtrack. In 1999, he launched his debut album 'Pal,' which became a generational rave. Even today, you will find tracks from the album like "Pal" and "Yaaron" a must play in the school and college farewells. His banter of successful tracks over the years like "Tadap Tadap Ke Is Dil Se" from the movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), the groovy and fun Tamil song "Apadi Podu," "Dola Re Dola" from the movie Devdas (2002), "Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai" from the romantic drama Woh Lamhe (2006), "Aankhon Mein Teri" from the modern retro flick Om Shanti Om (2007), "Piya Aaye Na" from the romantic musical Aashiqui 2 (2013), and "Mat Aazma Re" from the thriller flick Murder 3 (2013), has established KK as one of the most sought-after artists in the music industry.
Adding more to this highly acclaimed musical career spanning over 20 years, KK has successfully recorded songs in several Indian regional languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Bengali, Assamese, and Gujarati.
Born in Delhi on 23 August 1968 in an archetypal Malayali family, he was brought up in New Delhi. Later he graduated from the Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. Hence, one can say that KK was always in the realm of singing. After graduating, KK had a brief stint for months as a marketing executive before chasing his passion for music. However, in the early days, he struggled to create a name for himself in the cut-throat competitive recording industry, resorting to singing at hotels to make ends meet. It was only in 1994 that he finally decided to move to Mumbai. Then, he started singing for marketing jingles, like for Santogen Suiting by UTV. For more than 4 years, KK has sung more than 3,500 jingles across 11 languages. Luckily, he got to make his first break as a playback singer with A. R. Rahman's hit songs "Kalluri Saaley" and "Hello Dr." from Kadir's Kadhal Desam and then "Strawberry Kannae" from AVM Productions' musical film Minsara Kanavu (1997). He also sang a small portion of the song "Chhod Aaye Hum" from Gulzar's Maachis (1996). Later, he made his Bollywood debut with the much-revered tragic ballad "Tadap Tadap Ke Is Dil Se" in the romantic drama Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), which became the turning point of his career. Since then, KK has never had to look back.
In 1999, when Sony Music embarked on becoming one of the most successful record labels in India, they were looking for a fresh face to launch. As the universe conspired, KK became that face and launched his solo and debut album 'Pal' with the music composition and arrangement and production by Lesle Lewis, who had already established a niche for music composition and arrangement from his duet label 'Colonial Cousins.' This album won KK the Screen Award for best singer. After eight years, amid several Bollywood and regional collaborations lined up, KK released his second album, 'Humsafar.' Interestingly, eight songs of the album were composed by KK himself, and the title track "Humsafar" is a mix of English and Hindi lyrics. Some of the most acclaimed tracks from this album are "Aasman Ke," "Dekho Na," "Yeh Kahan Mil Gaye Hum," and "Rain Bhai Kaari (Maajhi)." Moreover, KK has also sung an English Rock Ballad, "Cineraria." He has been nominated for several award categories for playback singing and won 6 Filmfare awards, a Filmfare Awards South, and a Screen Award. It is unbelievable that KK had never undergone any formal music training.
He has also been instrumental in the television circuit. He lent his voice to several television serial songs like Just Mohabbat, Shaka Laka Boom Boom, Kuch Jhuki Si Palkein, Hip Hip Hurray, Kkavyanjali, and Just Dance. In addition to that, KK also has sung a song named "Tanha Chala" for the Pakistani TV show The Ghost, which was aired on Hum TV in 2008. Even after being one of the most famous singers on the film circuit, KK has always kept his personal life away from the glitz and glamour; as he used to say, "a singer must be heard," and the singer doesn't have to be seen.
He was also the favorite jury and gusset judge for multiple talent hunts and singing shows like Fame Gurukul and Indian Idol Junior. He has also featured in popular music synth shows like MTV Coke Studio, Sony Mix TV Show, and MTV Unplugged. With massive popularity worldwide, KK has thrilled music lovers with his concerts in Goa, Dubai, Chennai, and Hong Kong. Remarkably, KK took his last breath embracing music as he died just hours after concerting in Kolkata. The packed Nazrul Mancha stadium raged with KK's soulful music, marking his last music concert. He complained of feeling unwell soon after his performance on the way back to his hotel, where he suffered cardiac arrest. At 53, with a versatile and insatiable career spanning two decades, KK, "the voice of love and friendship," took to his heavenly abode. The West Bengal government gave him a gun salute.
Ask any 90s kid, and they would talk about the sudden revolution in the Indian music industry. Every music lover would look back upon the time when every other track in the early 2000s cast a spell on the crowd. One can credit this magic to KK as he steadily overwhelmed every heart with his voice. His music defined a generation, and thus, it is time for us to reminisce some of his several iconic tracks.
Your childhood is indisputably incomplete if you have not heard this song. Be it a group of friends jamming in the college cafeteria or juniors singing in the school farewell, this song from KK's debut album 'Pal' is a time machine itself, and now sadly, it will always make us remember the gem of a singer KK was. So you can sing along to this track for your friends and spread the purity of friendship and love wherever you perform. All you need is a mic and maybe a guitar or karaoke.
This track from the movie 'Jhankaar Beats' was one of KK's first songs recorded for a Bollywood movie under the label Sony Music. This romantic track is perfect for singing to your special someone on your first date night. Though the movie did not garner many audiences, this track became sensational and was heard blasting the radios regularly. Surprisingly this is one of those few songs written by Vishal Dadlani from the music composing duo Vishal Shekhar.
From the movie MP3, this song was as efficacious as other tracks of KK. It captures the innocence of first love, be it the first glance of your crush or the first date; this song is etched to make you fall in love with the idea of love all over again. The mellow voice of KK does the magic!
When it comes to defining a generation, the album for the movie 'Life In A Metro' pops up in every music lover's mind almost instantly. The album is the perfect amalgamation of creativity and original conceptualization. This track, in particular, brought KK and Pritam as music composers to popularity, and we can not get enough of the rock-solid drums and baseline with the strong vocals of KK. In a candid interview, KK opened up about how he experimented with a vocal range in this track and tried to incline it more towards rock indie, breaking the typical notion of romantic range singing.
From the movie Bachna Ae Haseeno, this track is famous to date, other than it featuring the then buzzed couple Deepika and Ranbeer. But, it was the ethereal voice of KK and Shilpa Rao. This track is a personal favorite of every couple hands-down, and hence it is perfect for duet karaoke performances, or if you wish to impress a special someone, KK has something was everyone.
Unexaggeratingly, a Mukesh Bhatt movie, especially one starring Emraan Hashmi, is incomplete without the voice of KK. The much-acclaimed album of the movie 'Jannat' composed by Pritam has this one track which became a rave among the youngsters. As The Hindu rightly titled KK "the voice of love," this song unequivocally makes him the king of the romantic genre in music.
Let us look at it this way. In a Mukesh Bhatt production, Kunal Deshmukh directorial, starring Emraan Hashmi, the album has to be composed by Pritam with the lyrics of Sayeed Quadri. However, the vocals of KK are the final element that makes that album a hit. From the movie 'Tum Mile,' this track is an unequivocal testimony to the above-proven equation. Listen to this song, and we are sure you will fall in love with KK's vocal range.
From the movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan, this song makes one feel emotions like love and care all too well. It is amusing how a voice crafted for so long in the industry can still sound innocent. This track is delivered by the top duo KK and Pritam with the lyrics of Kausar Munir, sounds like a masterpiece, right?
Another heart-rendering track right from our favorite duo, KK, and Pritam, this track is ethereally unique, and we can only wonder why songs like these are made no more. Though this is a heartbreaking song, the lyrics are hauntingly beautiful, like memories. It perfectly etches the moments in your life, the ones you may have shared with someone, which meant everything to you at one point but now seem like a long-lost story. And though you wish to forget them, you can not completely forget. This song makes you question, can you unlove someone?
From Mahesh Bhatt's sensual thriller flick 'Jism 2', this song is a beautiful love ballad, and we all know KK's prowess in the genre. With his resonant voice and the strong beats of drums, this song is perfect for a live karaoke session. The best thing about KK's songs is that one can easily sing and put up a decent performance with a bit of practice, even if they are amateur-level singers or simply hobbyists.
This list would have been incomplete without this track from the movie 'Gangster.' It is bewildering that Pritam and KK somehow conjured major hits and gave voice to actor Emraan Hashmi in several movies. With the lyrics of Sayeed Quadri, this song is the one you play on loop for quite some time once you hear it; the enthralling voice of KK does the number on you.
Artists who genuinely define their art and fulfill all senses of the masses don't come in passing; hence it can be said without a shred of uncertainty that KK is and always will be one of the biggest musical legends. His craft is refined and will forever be alive as long as his voice keeps ruling our hearts. You can enjoy his soulful music and try to sing them in your unique voice too. At Hindi Karaoke Shop, you can easily download these and many other iconic karaoke songs of KK in studio standard audio with high-quality scrolling lyric videos at the most budget-friendly prices. You can also mold a particular track as per your musical affliction with our exclusive customization services and much more.