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Saturday October 23rd, 2021
Arts and Culture

Sri Lankan pop icon Sunil Perera passes away; tributes pour in

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan pop icon Sunil Perera whose music inspired generations passed away in the early hours of Monday (06), media reports said.

The 68-year-old singer and musician had tested positive for COVID-19 in August and had to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a private hospital. He was then discharged having apparently recovered, only to be re-admitted late last week.

Perera was the frontman of the band the ‘Gypsies’ whose discography goes back to the 1970s and includes such timeless classics as ‘Oye Ojaaye’, ‘Lunu Dehi, and ‘Signore‘.

The Gypsies’ rendition of the classic Baila Nonstop was a staple on the dance floor of many a Sri Lankan wedding, party or carnival.

In his own right, Perera had a number of hits to his name that cemented his place in Sri Lankan popular culture. A man known for his rebellious streak, Perera didn’t hesitate to get political in the face of social injustice, with many of his songs reflecting his unconventional views. Perera was also known as a fearless critic of cultural norms that he considered backward and, both on and off stage, was a vociferous advocate of peaceful coexistence.

Sunil and his brother and fellow Gypsies’ member Piyal Perera were instrumental in putting together ‘Lowe Sama’, a massive collaboration that saw some of the biggest names in the industry collaborate on a song for peace, in what became Sri Lanka’s answer to ‘We Are the World’.

Tributes poured in from various corners following the news of his demise.

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