Legendary Sri Lankan singer and composer Pandit Amaradeva, recipient of many international honours, including Padma Shri, for his contribution to music, died on Thursday after an heart attack. He was 88.
Pandit Amaradeva, born Wannakuwatta Waduge Don Albert Perera, was rushed to Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital here after suddenly falling ill. He died shortly after, the Colombo Page reported.
The music composer drew inspiration from classical Indian ragas as well as Sri Lanka’s own rich traditions of folk music and went on to create a music that is quintessentially Sri Lankan. His contribution to the development of Sinhala music is considered unmatched.
The musician has been the recipient of several awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award (2001), Padma Shri (2002) and Sri Lankan President’s Award of Kala Keerthi (1986) and Deshamanya Award (1998).
President Maithripala Sirisena condoled the musician’s death on Twitter, saying “Maestro Amaradeva, it has been an honour to have you in our lives. May you attain Nibbana.”