Sri Lanka's Music Legend Desmond De Silva passed away
Renowned Sri Lankan singer Desmond De Silva has passed away this evening.
Desmond was one of the stalwarts of Sri Lanka’s baila genre - which is a memento of Portuguese colonisation. Desmond entertained generations of Sri Lankans with captivating songs. He launched his career in popular music in Colombo in 1963, he was the lead vocalist of the Fire-Flies. His music was featured widely on Radio Ceylon and subsequently the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.
Desmond has also performed with leading Sri Lankan pop groups – "Spitfires," "Gabo and the Breakaways," and the "Jetliners." He sang a song titled 'Oba Nisa' with Mignonne Fernando and the Jetliners – it was hailed as a musical masterpiece at an international song festival. In 1976 he decided to form his own band, "Desmond and the Clan", which performed in various countries in Southeast Asia.
He has celebrated more than 50 years in show business, selling millions of CDs around the world. De Silva is known for his popular renditions of Sri Lankan 'baila' music. He has had a string of baila hits including: 'Polkatu Hande,' ' Yaman Bando (Wally Bastiansz),' 'Chuda Manike,' 'Mamma No,' 'Miss Sri Lanka,' 'Hai Hui baby Achchi (Wally Bastiansz),' 'Rajasangabo' 'Komali Pane,' as well as popular recordings of anonymous baila songs. He is also known for a whole range of 'Party Time' non-stop baila music.
De Silva has championed the cause of autism spectrum disorders: in August 2005 he was the first Sri Lankan musician to appeal on behalf of autistic children and people with autism in Sri Lanka, urging Sri Lankans to 'speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.' De Silva received a standing ovation.
Desmond de Silva lived in Sydney, Australia and funeral arrangements will be announced later.