Baila legend Sunil Perera passes away

Veteran singer, musician, and leader of the popular band “The Gypsies” Sunil Perera passed away yesterday (6), with tributes pouring in from prominent figures in various fields, including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa.

Perera passed away at the age of 68 in the early hours of last morning while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo. He had tested positive for Covid-19 last month and was only recently discharged after recovering. However, it was reported yesterday that he had been readmitted to hospital due to a sudden illness.

Ivor Sylvester Sunil Perera, popularly known as Sunil Perera, joined the band The Gypsies, created by his father Anton Perera, along with his brothers – Nihal, Lal, Nimal, Piyal, and several others as soon as he left school in 1969. He ultimately led it to become one of the biggest and most famous musical bands in Sri Lanka’s history with multiple hit albums, becoming a staple at concerts, corporate events, and weddings for decades.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his official Facebook page said: “I extend my deepest condolences on the demise of veteran singer Sunil Perera, who revolutionised band music and contributed many popular songs to the Sri Lankan music industry.”

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stated: “The entertainment arena in Sri Lanka will never be the same without you. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the legendary entertainer Sunil Perera. You will be remembered forever through your music. Rest In Peace.”

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa noted: “I am saddened and shocked by the sudden demise of Sunil Perera who pioneered a modern-day revolution in the musical history of Sri Lanka. He was also my teacher and guru in the musical arena and I am so proud to have been associated with such a unique and talented personality. He is an immeasurable loss to the music fraternity, the people, and our country. May he Rest In Peace.”

The funeral of the legendary singer was held at the Borella Cemetery yesterday in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines.