Chutney icon Anand Yankarran dies

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(Trinidad Guardian) Tributes poured in yesterday, as the news of the death local Chutney singer, Anand Yankarran was announced.

Yankarran, 51, was hailed by many as an icon in the local music industry.

According to his wife, Vidya, Yankarran passed away at the Couva District Health Facility around 6.45am yesterday after suffering from a heart attack.

In an interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, Vidya said Yankarran was in good spirits minutes before his death. Yankarran had suffered from kidney failure for a number of years and was on dialysis.

“We woke and I tested his blood pressure and sugar (levels) and all the readings were good,” she said. “We went back to lie down and a little while after he started to gasp for breath. I called the ambulance and tried to resuscitate him myself, but when they took him to the hospital he had passed away.”

Vidya said she and Yankarran, who were together for the past 17 years, enjoyed themselves with friends on Sunday as they celebrated the start of the New Year.

The two met at a Mother’s Day concert in the US in 2000.

Of their romance, she said: “It just happened… I had known about his work before and when we met things just fell into place.”

They married and lived together in the US for 14 years before returning to Trinidad.

Yankarran enjoyed a vibrant music career while in the US and also performed in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, England and Canada.

The couple settled in Exchange Development, Couva, on their return, and Yankarran would record and release his last Chutney hit ‘Pak Pak’ in 2013 and perform in the 2014 Chutney Soca Monarch.

Vidya said Yankarran had no plans to return to the stage as he retired at age 50.

She described Yankarran as a very kind, loving person. “He was soft-hearted loved to help people; anything he could do for someone in need made him so happy.”

In an interview yesterday, Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) producer, George Singh said Yankarran’s death is a devastating blow to the local music industry. He likened Yankarran’s musical contributions to that of the “Father” of Chutney music Sundar Popo, who died in 2000 after ailing with heart problems and kidney failure.

“He made an invaluable contribution to the local music industry and we are all deeply saddened by his death,” Singh said.

ANAND’S LEGACY

Anand Yankarran shot to the spotlight in the local Chutney arena in 1989 when he recorded a jingle for the Stag beer called “Zindabad Trinibago.”

He would later record the jingle on his first album ‘Victory.’ The album also included his breakaway Chutney hit ‘Nanda Baba’ in 1989.

His other hits included Jo Jo and Ranga Dal. His last Chutney release was ‘Pak Pak’ in 2013.

Yankarran came from a musical family, as his father was the late legendary Indian Classical singer, Isaac Yankarran. His brother, Rakesh Yankarran is also a renowned local Chutney singer.

He was awarded the Chaconia Medal (Silver) for long and meritorious service to Trinidad and Tobago in 1991.

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