Veteran Odia vocalist Murali Mohapatra, who was called the ‘Akshya Mohanty of Jeypore’, lost consciousness and died during his performance on Sunday at a Durga Puja pandal in Koraput district, Odisha. He was 59.
Before his performance at the Raja Chaak puja panda, Mohapatra had announced on stage that he was feeling unwell, and asked his audience to bear with him in case mistakes were made, said singer’s friend Prasant Kumar Mishra. Mohapatra managed to belt out four songs. After singing a song from an Odia movie, he suddenly sat on a chair, and began to watch other singers perform. But soon, he collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital but declared dead on arrival. The cause of death was a heart attack, confirmed his brother Bibhuti Prasad Mohapatra.
Mohapatra was hailed for his voice, and for adeptly emulating the singing style of the late legendary Odia singer, songwriter and composer, Akshaya Mohanty. Even after making it big as a vocalist, Murali had continued to hold his job at the Jeypore Sub-collector’s office as a clerk. He was scheduled to retire in nine months.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted his condolences in Odia. “I am saddened to learn of the demise of popular vocalist Murali Mohapatra. The music he sang in his melodious voice will always be remembered in the hearts of the listeners. May his soul rest in peace and my condolences to the bereaved family.”
The incident has jogged public memory of playback singer KK who died at a hotel after a concert in Kolkata, mid 2022.