Renowned Odia singer Murali Mohapatra has died. Mohapatra, fondly known as "Khoka Bhai" and "Akshaya Mohanty of Jeypore," passed away Sunday, Oct. 2 after he collapsed on stage while performing at a show in Jeypore town of Koraput district in Odisha. It was later revealed that the musician suffered a heart attack. He was 59.
According to the Indian Express, Mohapatra was four songs into his set at the concert when he suddenly sat down on a chair onstage and stopped his performance. His friend, Prasant Kumar Mishra, later came out to inform the crowd that the singer was unwell and requested those in attendance to cooperate amid the health scare. The musician's brother, Bibhuti Prasad Mohapatra, confirmed that Mohapatra was transported to a local hospital, where he was declared dead upon arrival late Sunday night. It was determined that Mohapatra died of heart attack. At this time, further details regarding Mohapatra's passing have not been revealed.
"Saddened to know about the demise of popular singer Murali Mohapatra," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote in tribute following Mohapatra's death. "His sweet voice will always ignite the hearts of listeners. May his soul rest in peace. My condolence to his family."
A renowned singer, Mohapatra was also known as "Khoka Bhai" and "Akshaya Mohanty of Jeypore," as he followed the signing style of the late legendary Odia singer, songwriter and composer Akshaya Mohanty, according to India Times. In addition to his singing career, the Indian Express reported that the musician also worked as a government employee at the office of the Jeypore sub-collector.
His passing followed the May death of fellow singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, better known to fans as KK. Similar to Mohapatra, Kunnath died hours after performing in Kolkata, India. During his performance, the singer felt "unwell" and reportedly complained about "uneasiness" when he returned to his hotel room. He was later transported to Calcutta Medical Research Institute, where he was declared dead upon arrival after he suffered a heart attack, or "myocardial infarction," according to the final post-mortem and chemical analysis reports submitted to Kolkata police. Kunnath, 53, broke into show business as a commercial jingles singer before he began recording songs for Bollywood musicals.