Celebrity singer Ishmeet Singh from Punjab, who shot to fame by winning the Voice of India (on Star TV) contest in November last year, drowned in a swimming pool on Tuesday at a resort in the Maldives where he had gone to take part in a concert.
Gurprinder Singh Sodhi, father of 20-year-old Ishmeet, said at their home in Ludhiana that the event management company, which took his son to the Maldives, informed him at around 2000 hours that the singer had died due to drowning in the swimming pool of the hotel where he was staying.
The second year Bachelor of Commerce student of MNC College, Mumbai, had gone to the pool for frolicking, but fell into its deep end leading to his drowning, agencies reported, quoting a hotel official.
Sodhi told media persons that they were surprised that their son had died due to drowning in the swimming pool.
"He had never swam before us and we are not aware whether he could swim or not," an inconsolable father said.
"Television channels announced his death at around 2100 hours, the time when were expecting to see Ishmeet perform for the first time in the Maldives," Sodhi said.He said Ishmeet had left Ludhiana on Monday for Chandigarh from where he went to Mumbai on way to the Maldives.
A pall of gloom descended on the house of the singer in Ludhiana immediately after the news of his death reached.
Ishmeet's mother Amritpal Kaur was in a state of shock and so was his sister.
A large number of people gathered at the small house of Ishmeet in Shastri Nagar locality of the industrial town. All roads leading to his house from various adjoining localities, including Model Town and Pakhowal Road were choked with vehicles and people trying to reach the singer's house.
Ishmeet was doing a course in Architecture in Amritsar before he shifted to Mumbai last year after he won the Voice of India singing contest.
Sodhi said the event management company had informed the family that the body was expected to be brought to India on Wednesday. The cremation would be performed in Ludhiana.
Ishmeet's death plunged the music world into mourning and leading playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Abhijeet and Shaan expressed shock at the incident.
"I was very happy when he won the Voice of India contest. Such a fate to befall one at such a young age -- I have no words to express my feelings," said Lata.
She said Ishmeet had an original voice and did not imitate anyone.
Abhijeet, who was one of the jury members for Voice of India contest, said he was like a mentor for Ishmeet. Abhijeet said he recognised the talent in Ishmeet and other jury members used to accuse him of favouring him.
Shaan said he was shocked at learning the news of Ishmeet's death.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said the country had lost a 'gem' and a 'void had been created in the music world that would be hard to fill'.