Ramnarine not defending Trini Chutney Soca title

(Trinidad Express)  “I WILL NOT DEFEND.”
Those were the final words of reigning Chutney Soca Monarch, Raymond Ramnarine, yesterday.
And his decision was not based solely because he did not receive his full payment of $1 million for winning the 2013 Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch.
Ramnarine said he was disappointed that chutney artistes were being qualified to enter a local competition using Bollywood melodies.
Ramnarine said he had no incentives to defend his title this year, as he was unable to accomplish his dreams after winning the competition.
He was paid $800,000.

Raymond Ramnarine
Raymond Ramnarine

Ramnarine said he was informed by Southex Promotions chief executive officer, George Singh, that he would receive the outstanding money. But almost a year later, the balance was not paid.
The $1 million first prize was sponsored by the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism.
Singh said he had not received the total amount promised by the ministry and was unable to pay the artistes in full. He said all artistes in winners row were paid part of their prize money.
Singh said last month this year’s competition was in jeopardy as funding was not yet confirmed by the ministry. But days later, he announced, that the show will go on following discussions with the minister.
Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas told the Express last week that his ministry had met its obligations to the promoter and he was not responsible for outstanding payments.
Ramnarine, leader of the band Dil-e-Nadan said, “I am not giving up the good fight. My question is, who is to be blamed for this scandal?”
Ramnarine said he was holding on to promises that he would receive his outstanding money.
Ramnarine said he had planned to host charity shows and promote traditional chutney music during his reign. And he was excited about launching a children’s foundation “Ray of Sunshine”.
Ramnarine said he was able to visit schools to promote culture and attended some charity events. But he was unable to start his own foundation to assist needy children.
“This is what I was really looking forward to doing. This was my heart’s desire. I thought I would use part of the money and do this foundation. But I was unable to do it and this has me really upset. I went into the competition with this on my mind and when I couldn’t do it I felt really disappointed. That is why I don’t feel the vibes to defend my title,” he said.
He said his presentation in the 2013 event was estimated at $400,000. “And all my expenses were paid, even the last person who brought a bottle of water for me on the stage was paid in full,” he said.
Ramnarine said he was excited about entering this year’s competition with his runaway hit songs “Mosquito” and “Bole Bole”.
But the return of Bollywood melodies to the competition has left the entertainer disappointed.
“This is something that has plagued the industry and concerned artistes. Chutney lovers have expressed their dissatisfaction about it. Where is the creativity? How would you be able to judge an artiste with a total original song, compared to one with a Bollywood melody?
“Taking any melody and being creative is okay but it should not be allowed in a competition. It should be about originality,” he said.
Ramnarine, who returned to the competition after 13 years, dethroned Kris “KI” Persad, who had to settle for third place last year.
Rikki Jai, who has won the competition multiple times, placed second.
Ramnarine created a stir when he announced he was entering the competition last year. He topped the preliminary and semi-final rounds of the competition.
Ramnarine’s winning performance included Peter Minshall’s creations Tan Tan and Saga Boy.
The semi-final round of the competition was hosted last weekend at Rienzi Complex, Couva, where 43 artistes battled for a spot in the finals which takes place on February 15. The finalists will be announced today.

 

Garry Marshall

Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall dead at 81 – media

(Reuters) – Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall, who was responsible for creating sitcom hits such as “The Odd Couple” and “Happy Days” and directed hit movies “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died on Tuesday, Variety reported.

Rajinikanth

Tamil superstar takes over southern India ahead of film release

(Reuters) – Frenzy gripped southern India yesterday, a day ahead of the release of Tamil cinema superstar Rajinikanth’s crime-drama film titled “Kabali.” Chennai, the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, buzzed with activity with men plastering life-size posters, depicting Rajinikanth’s character in the movie.

default placeholder

Singer Elton John gives boost to groups fighting AIDS

NEW YORK, (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Groups working to battle AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean are the first winners of grants established by singer Elton John to end discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, the singer said.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Pakistani singer Khan unites Bollywood and Qawwali in UK shows

(Reuters) – Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, known for both Bollywood hits and Qawwali, Sufi devotional music that dates back more than 700 years, is taking the two genres to Britain in August for three concerts.

rihanna

Rihanna cancels Nice concert after attack

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Pop star Rihanna has cancelled a concert scheduled for Friday in Nice after a gunman in a truck ploughed into crowds marking Bastille Day in the southern coastal French city, killing at least 84 people.

Kaveri Kapur

Indian teen music star hopes to emerge from famous parents’ shadow

LONDON, (Reuters) – The teenage daughter of one of India’s best known movie directors has had her first chart hit – with a song she wrote when just 11 years old.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.



Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: