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The entertainment fraternity has again been plunged into mourning with the passing of Chutney music pioneer Boodram Holass, also known as the “Chatham Lion,” who died on December 15 from a series of medical complications. The Chutney music legend was just a few days shy of his 70th birthday had written and recorded over 250 songs

Holass, who lost a leg recently to diabetes complications and an eye in a vehicular accident, was brought on stage in a wheelchair at the 2023 Chutney soca monarch competition to perform one of his classics. Family members said Holass died at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) on Friday, where he was being treated for diabetes and other complications.

Budram Holass was born Dec. 29th 1954 to Samdaye and Harry Holass at Charham, Trinidad and Tobago. From his early childhood, Holass and his siblings, of note Rukminee Holass Beepath, were tutored by their parents, who were versatile singers and musicians of the Local ClassicalTradition. His father was well-versed in Hindi and Bhojpuri. His career started at a very early age singing in the family group “Amar Geet” and gradually he emerged on his own. He entered many competitions over the years, winning many titles. He has toured many countries including Suriname, Guyana, Canada, USA, Florida, Mauritius and India. He has established a six-member entertainment group “Amar Geet” that give performances at all occasions and celebrations. Boodram Holass has performed in many parts of India. He has been a finalist in several competitions for the past few years in Trinidad and received numerous awards from many organisations for his sterling contribution to culture.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell said in a statement:  “Holass was one of the most iconic figures in Indo-Trinidad culture. His influence on the growth and development of local East Indian culture and to the culture of TT is immeasurable.
“Despite the physical health challenges that he endured, Holass’ years of work as an educator, mentor and performer has undoubtedly shaped the talents of many within the cultural fraternity today and will continue to do so for many years to come.
“We will always be grateful for his sterling contributions to TT.”