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Artists > Sundar Popo

Sundar Popo

Sundar Popo at
Name: Sundar Popo
Nationality: Trinidadian

Popo grew up in a musical family. Both his parents were musicians; his mother was a singer and his father was an accomplished tassa drummer. At the age of 15, he began singing at bhajans at temples and weddings in his hometown of Monkey Town. Bahora worked as a watchman at a Barrackpore factory, and trained under Ustad James Ransawak. In 1969, at a mattikoor in Princes Town, he met Moean Mohammed, a radio host and promoter. After listening to "Nani and Nana", a song with lyrics in both Hindi and English, describing the affairs of an Indian grandmother and grandfather, Mohammed got maestro Harry Mahabir to record the song at Television House, accompanied by the BWIA National Indian Orchestra. The song revolutionized East Indian music in Trinidad & Tobago. After the success of Nani and Nana, Bahora devoted more of his time to his singing career. He followed "Nani and Nana" with an album combining Trinidadian folk songs with traditional Hindu material. In total, he recorded more than fifteen albums. He is best known for his song Scorpion Gyul which spoke about love, death, and happiness. His other hits include "Oh My Lover", "Don't Fall in Love", and "Oh Lover You Leave Me and Gone". His songs were covered several times by the Indian duo Babla & Kanchan, who had a major success with a version of his "Phulowarie Bin Chitney", bringing him to a wider international audience, and leading to tours of Europe and the United States.

Popo won many awards during his career, and in 1995, Black Stalin won the Trinidad & Tobago Calypso Monarch title with his "Tribute to Sundar Popo".

In addition to his solo albums, Popo has also released collaborations with Trinidadian performer Anand Yankaran, and JMC Triveni.

While Popo had recorded and performed prolifically since the early 1970s, failing health and eyesight forced him to slow down. At the 2000 Chutney Monarch competition, his performance had to be cut short after one song, and he played his final concert on 1 April 2000, in Connecticut. On 2 May 2000, he died at the home he had built in Barrackpore, from heart and kidney ailments relating to diabetes. His funeral was attended by Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Basdeo Panday.
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