Born in New Delhi to C S Menon and Kunnath Kanakavalli on August 23, 1968, he was an alumnus of Delhi's Mount St Mary's School. Following his college, KK reportedly had a short stint as a marketing associate in the hotel industry after which he shifted to Mumbai to pursue a career in music.
Singer and composer Krishnakumar Kunnath, known by his stage name KK, passed away on May 31 at the age of 53. He was gifted with a boisterous yet mellifluous voice that will be remembered by his fans for many decades to come.
Though a Malayali by birth, who had never undergone any formal training in music, KK never shied away from singing in languages he was not much acquainted with, like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati.
Did you know? In 1994, KK took a chance and gave a demo tape to Louis Banks, Ranjit Barot and Leslie Lewis. After working on several jingles over the next few years, KK kickstarted his career as a playback singer with A R Rahman's hit song 'Kalluri Saaley' and 'Hello Dr.' from Kadir's 'Kadhal Desam' and then 'Strawberry Kannae' from the musical film 'Minsara Kanavu', and ever since then, there was no turning back for the singer!
KK made his debut as a Bollywood playback singer with Salman Khan's popular song 'Tadap Tadap' from 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'. Though, prior to this, he had sung a small portion of the song 'Chhod Aaye Hum' from Gulzar's 'Maachis'.
In 1999, KK came out with his debut solo album titled 'Pal' with Leslie Lewis composing the music. Every '90s kid will always remember KK for the album's title track 'Pal' and also 'Yaaron' which gave most school kids friendship goals. His voice struck a connection with listeners that left them wanting for more and such was the emotional connect that even today, these songs are played in school and office farewells.
KK was greatly influenced by the singer Kishore Kumar and music director R.D. Burman. Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Bryan Adams and Led Zeppelin were also some of his favourite international singers and bands.
An auditory treat for his listeners, the versatile musician was an integral part of most '90s kids' lives as his music helped many of them get through several facets of life, be it heartbreaks or the simple daily hustles.
Singer KK's melodious voice and penchant for love songs touched a chord with people, making him stand tall among all the talented singers of Bollywood.
KK had married his childhood sweetheart Jyothy Krishna in 1991 and they had two children, Nakul and Taamara. He was a musician who wasn't labelled by any particular genre or style, his voice merely went hand-in-hand with the wonderful music of all kinds. KK sang upbeat dance songs as well as cheesy romantic hits, and this is what made him a singer of all ages who will forever be cherished in the hearts of his millions of fans across the globe. He was a singer who sang and performed till his last breath.
KK's daughter Krishna shared this childhood memory with her father on social media
Weeks after his father's demise, Nakul, took to his Instagram and penned a note for his father. "You always treated me like an equal while simultaneously protecting and shielding me. Treating me like an adult in conversation but calling to check up on me as soon as I left the house. Trusting me wholly no matter what I decided, allowing me to be myself, hearing me out and changing your opinions based on what I told you, being the open minded forward thinking person that you were. People told me about their relationships with their fathers and I always found somethings to be strange. It took me very long to realise that our relationship was the outlier. You set the bar stupendously high, as a father, but more importantly as a friend," he wrote
KK's son Nakul shared this picture of him playing cricket with his father during his childhood
"You prioritised us always, and we have already spend more time together as a family than most do throughout their lifetimes. You loved us endlessly and enough to last us the rest of our lives. Your love will always keep us going," wrote Nakul