On his 54th birth anniversary, we recall how it was impossible to dislike the late singer
“I am not a KK fan,” I once proclaimed to my sister, who happens to be a staunch loyalist of the deceased music legend. She looked at me with surprise and told me something that continues to linger in my mind. “Listen to just one song of his, and you’ll be a fan forever.” I trusted my cool elder sister’s playlist way too much, and immediately gave a listen to “Such Keh Raha Hai” from Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein. And, well, she was right – I became a fan in an instant!
Quite like millions of others, I still get goosebumps every time I tap on the track on my playlist, and that’s the legacy that KK (Krishnakumar Kunnath) left behind. Today, on his 54th birthday anniversary, we remember the shining star for his priceless contributions to the world of music, and for making life and its different shades a lot better for us to navigate with his soulful tracks, which somehow always seem to hit the spot!
KK’s death felt personal, not just to me but to his mammoth following across the globe. The man who helped us sail through some tough times via his beautiful songs was no longer humming. How could this be true? Much to the dismay of industry insiders and fans, the singer breathed his last on May 31 this year, leaving behind a void that no one could fill. Yes, a hard realization that we’ll never have a new KK song anymore hit like a pile of bricks, but what kept his fans going was replaying and revisiting memories through his classics. There’s no denying how everyone out there has a special KK song, for reasons best known to them.
For me, “Dil Kyun Yeh Mera” from Kites will always be the ‘it’ song. The way KK captured the most profound, sunniest, and most vulnerable moments through his music is unmatched. Clearly, there’s nobody else who can create the kind of magic he weaved. What piques my interest, even more, is the fact that in his almost three-decade-long career, KK made sure that he sang for different actors across generations and had something to offer to everyone. Of course, classics like “Alvida” from Life In A Metro, “Yaaron,” and “Pyaar Ke Pal” will remain all-time favorites and are the songs that make his music eternal.
But KK was a bigger name than one can imagine. The fact that a millennial, a Gen-Z kid, and a Gen-Y adult cried together upon hearing the news of his demise only reinforces how his music meant so much more – ode to friendships sometimes, to the fickleness of life sometimes, and to bittersweet memories of the past and nostalgia. While KK’s love for Bollywood movies was widely known, his independent albums did equally well. Where an “O Meri Jaan” was crooned by fans at the top of their lungs, a “Pal” was also slowly hummed by them. Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi. Name a genre and you will find a song sung by KK.
More often than not, magic can’t be recreated. And rightly so in the case of KK, whose soulful renditions serve as constant reminders of how powerful and uplifting a great piece of music can be. To celebrate his birth anniversary, listen to five of his all-time classic tracks right here.
Dil Ibadat Kar Raha Hai
Aankhon Mein Teri Ajab Si
Tu Jo Mila
Tujhe Sochta Hoon