Black Immigrant Daily News
In this file photo, singer Anil Bheem performs during launch of a new business product in Barataria in 2022. – AYANNA KINSALE
The sudden death of popular chutney/Bollywood singer and radio presenter Anil “The Vocalist” Bheem has triggered an outpouring of love, support, and grief from fans and artistes.
At 6.20 am on Saturday, 103.1 fm the radio station where he worked broke the news.
“With heavy hearts, we relay the news that our beloved Anil Bheem passed away this morning. This is beyond shocking and we are still trying to process,” a post said.
“His 103.1 fm family extends deepest sympathy to his dear wife Cheryl, daughters, family, friends, colleagues in the industry and legions of fans.”
Newsday learnt that Bheem, 48, performed at two events on Friday night – at the Rig Restaurant and Lounge in La Romaine and at at Heartland Plaza in Chaguanas. Bheem was the leader and main vocalist of the BMRZ band.
His latest hit, titled The Indian Anthem, has 2.4 million views just four months after it was uploaded on West Indian Chutney Music YouTube’s channel.
The popular band Dil E Nadan took to Facebook, saying, “Gone from our sight but never from our hearts. A dear brother who showed his love for our culture, loved his family and graced the airwaves bringing joy to our lives.”
“Just a couple of months ago, we were in New York together and I told you to come sing with my band. I remembered how we joked around at soundcheck bro. Raymond Ramnarine & Dil E Nadan send our thoughts and prayers to the family and loved ones of our dear brother. Fly high with the angels. RIP.”
A few days ago, the founder of Dil E Nadan band, Tole Ramnarine, passed away.
Soca star Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez took to Twitter to offer condolences to the family.
“Brother Anil Bheem, RIP and fly high king. Always a joy when we saw each other. Condolences to his family and to music community as well.”
A post from singer Dane “Mr Kronic” Layne said he had the opportunity to meet “this gentleman” a few times.
He added, “You have left a serious void in the chutney fraternity and will truly be missed. RIP to the vocalist Anil Bheem.”
A Facebook statement from the leader of the opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar said it was with deep sadness she offered condolences to Bheem’s friends and family.
“With yet another blow to the local music industry, Anil has left us with a hole in our hearts as he was a household name within our nation. I recognise his enormous contributions to our local culture and his efforts in placing Trinidad and Tobago on the international stage. He will be forever missed. May he rest in peace.”
Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said Bheem would be remembered as a leading entertainer in the local East Indian-music industry.
The opposition MP referred to Bheem as the protege of the immensely talented Bheem family.
“His mother, Prematee Bheem, remains an iconic nightingale to many of an earlier era. I had the honour to present Anil with the keys to his home several years ago and will fondly remember his deep appreciation and enduring gratitude,” Moonilal said.
“His departure from this world comes at a time when his career was dramatically energised with the monster hit Suhani Raat – The Indian Anthem.”
PRO of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) Surujdeo Mangaroo offered condolences on behalf of the organisation, saying they were deeply saddened.
“Our heart goes out to members of the family during this difficult time. Anil was such a wonderful person and we feel so lucky to have known him. We will miss his haunting voice singing songs of Kishore Kumar and Rafi and as a presenter on the airwaves of 103.1 fm,” Mangaroo said.
“He will be truly missed by millions of his fans globally. His melodious voice graced our stages on many occasions more especially our annual Divali Nagar event. This one for me personally is not an easy one to digest. May his soul find solace in the comforting arms of Bhagwan Shri Krishna.”
No details have been given about the cause of death.