Kay Kay

Date of Birth: August 23, 1970
Filmfare Awards, Screen Awards, Zee Cine Awards, Apsara Awards, IIFA Awards, Apsara Awards
Years Active:
Kay Kay
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Birth name Krishnakumar Kunnath
Also known as KK, Kay Kay
Born August 24, 1971 (1971-08-24) (age 39)
Origin Thrissur, Kerala, India
Playback singing
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocal
Years active 1996–present

Krishnakumar Kunnath (Malayalam: കൃഷ്ണകുമാര്‍ കുന്നത്ത്, born August 23, 1970), also known as KK, is an award-winning Indian playback singer. He is a prominent singer in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Tamil films.

Born in Thrissur, Kerala to C. S. and Kanakavalli, a Malayali couple,2 Krishnakumar Kunnath was brought up in New Delhi.3 KK sang 3,500 jingles before Bollywood break. An alumnus of Delhi's Mount St. Mary school.4 He appeared in "Josh of India" song for the support of Indian Cricket Team during Cricket World Cup 1999.5 Following this, he released an album called Pal for which he notched up a Star Screen Award for the Best Solo Album, the title song of which struck a chord with listeners. Songs titled "Aap Ki Dua" and "Yaaron" from the same album were also hugely popular.

Personal life

Krishnakumar's surname (kunnath) is not his paternal family name, but his maternal one (Nairs of Kerala are matrilineal).7

As a child he wanted to be a doctor.4 KK gave his first stage performance when he was in second standard.8 KK switched from Hindi to English songs during his teens. His versatile voice was soon tapped by various ad agencies in Delhi for jingles. He even formed a rock band with his friends and played drums for two other rock bands and did vocals.9

He married his childhood sweetheart Jyothi in 1991.9 As a family man, KK prefers to spend time with family when he is not working. Once he said, his family is what gives him the strength to cope with all the pressure of Bollywood, where one has to continuously carve one's niche and hold on to it.10

KK's son, Nakul, sang a song "chaska" from his latest album Humsafar with his father.11 KK also has a daughter named Taamara.

KK has been greatly influenced by the legendary singer Kishore Kumar and music director R.D.Burman.


After graduating from Delhi University in commerce, KK had a brief stint of eight months as marketing executive in the hotel industry. After few years, in 1994, he moved to Mumbai.9
Playback singing

In 1994, he gave his demo tape to Louis Banks, Ranjit Barot, Shiv Mathur and Leslie Lewis to get a break in the music arena. It was in 1994, when his son Nakul was born, that things changed suddenly. The same day he was called by UTV and he sung a jingle for Santogen Suiting ad.11 In a span of four years, he has sung more than 3,500 jingles in 11 Indian languages. He got the first break in Mumbai from UTV to sing jingles and success followed soon. He considers Leslie Lewis as his mentor for giving him his first jingle to sing in Mumbai.9 Till now, KK has sung more than 500 songs in Hindi and more than 200 songs in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada languages in a short span.12 Down South, he has worked with well-known music composers such as 'Maestro' Ilayaraja, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Deva, Vidyasagar and Mani Sharma.9

Noted film director Vishal Bhardwaj gave KK the much-needed break. He started his stint in Bollywood with hit song "Chhod Aaye Hum" in Maachis and went on to entertain audiences with many more popular numbers. Vishal Bhardwaj also gave him his first solo number in the as-yet-unreleased film Hum Paanchi Ek Daal Ke.11 But it was his soulful rendition of "tadap tadap ke " in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam that catapulted him to fame.4

Albums and television

In the year 1999, Sony Music had just been launched in India and they were looking to launch a new artiste. KK was selected as the new artiste and he came out with a solo album titled Pal with Leslie Lewis composing the music. Pal was the first album released by KK under Sony Music for which he got the prestigious Screen award as best singer.

On January 22, 2008, KK released his second album Humsafar after a gap of eight years.13 The songs "Aasmaan Ke","Yeh Kahaan Mil Gaye Hum" and "Rain BhaiMaajhi" are famous songs from this album, besides, KK had also sung an English Rock Ballad "Cineraria". The title track, "Humsafar" is a mix of English and Hindi lyrics. Humsafar has 10 songs, out of which eight have been composed by KK himself. The other two songs were taken from his previous album Pal.

KK appeared on television too. He was invited as jury member for a talent hunt show Fame Gurukul, but he is clear that he would not like to return to television as the medium restricts him.10 Unlike many composers and singers, who feel reality shows have made it easier for budding artists to enter Bollywood, KK feels every one still has to struggle to mark one's presence in the film world.

Awards and honours

Year Category Song and Film Result
Filmfare Awards
1999 Best Playback Singer — Male "Tadap Tadap Ke" (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) Nominated
2002 Best Playback Singer — Male "Bardasht Nahi Kar Sakta" (Humraaz)
2005 Best Playback Singer — Male "Dus Bahane" (Dus)
2006 Best Playback Singer — Male "Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai" (Gangster)
2007 Best Playback Singer — Male "Ajab Si" (Om Shanti Om)
2009 Best Playback Singer — Male "Zara Sa" (Jannat)
Best Playback Singer — Male "Khuda Jane" (Bachna Ae Haseeno)
Screen Awards
2004 Best Playback Singer — Male "Awarapan Banjarapan" (Jism) Nominated
Best Playback Singer — Male "Tu Aashiqui Hai" (Jhankaar Beats)
2006 Best Playback Singer — Male "Dus Bahane" (Dus)
2007 Best Playback Singer — Male "Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai" (Gangster)
2009 Best Playback Singer — Male "Khuda Jaane" (Bachna Ae Haseeno) Won
Zee Cine Awards
2005 Best Playback Singer — Male "Dus Bahane" (Dus) Nominated
2007 Best Playback Singer — Male "Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai" (Gangster)
2011 Best Playback Singer — Male "zindagi do pal ki"(Kites) Nominated
IIFA Awards
2006 Best Playback Singer — Male "Dus Bahane" (Dus) Nominated
2007 Best Playback Singer — Male "Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai" (Gangster)
2008 Best Playback Singer — Male "Ajab Si" (Om Shanti Om)
2009 Best Playback Singer — Male "Khuda Jaane" (Bachna Ae Haseeno)
Apsara Awards
2008 Best Playback Singer — Male "Ajab Si" (Om Shanti Om) Nominated
Source: Bollywood Hungama.


KK has performed live concerts for Corporate giants like Hero Honda, Toyota, Glaxo, Seagram’s, IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft,Infosys(Mysore), Nokia, Fidelity, Citibank, INFLS, LG, Sony Eriksson, Air Sahara, Ultra Tech Cement, JP Cement, Maruti Udyog, Logica and many more. He has also performed for schools, colleges and other educational institutes like IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur,IIT Guwahati, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, IIT Madras, IIM Lucknow, NITK Surathkal, Ansal Institute of Technology, Dr. B.C.Roy Engineering College, Durgapur and BITS Pilani.He also performed in Ragam,the annual cult fest of NITC, on 25th march 2010 .9 And on 14 November 2010, he performed at the annual Xpressions at XIM, Bhubaneswar.