Scottish artist Heir Of The Curse has died, her family have confirmed in a statement.
The musician, whose real name was Beldina Odenyo Onassis, was 31 years of age. A cause of death has not been made public at present.
“We are devastated,” her family said, announcing that the artist had died on Friday (November 5). “Bel was so loved and will be so missed. We ask that our privacy be respected at this time of profound grief.”
Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the extraordinary Beldina Odenyo Onassis, and to all those she touched and moved and strengthened by her incomparable voice, and beautiful soul.
— Lighthouse – Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop (@Lighthousebks) November 7, 2021
Onassis was born in Kisumu in Kenya before moving to Dumfriesshire in Scotland with her family as a child. She later relocated to Glasgow where she became a vibrant part of the city’s arts scene.
As Heir Of The Cursed, she shared two tracks on Bandcamp – both in 2020 – in the form of ‘A Way From Rage’ and ‘Holding Myself’.
The musician recently performed at the SAY Award 2021 ceremony in Edinburgh as part of a ’10 years of SAY’ celebration. During the segment she played Kathryn Joseph’s ‘The Bird’.
In 2017, Onassis was named one of Scotland’s 30 most inspiring women under 30. She also worked with the National Theatre of Scotland and was a member of the Scottish all-female songwriting collective Hen Hoose. With the latter, she was a part of their debut compilation, ‘Hen Hoose: Equaliser’, contributing ‘Burn It All’ with Inge Thomson.
In September, Onassis also released a collaborative single called ‘Footsteps’ with Joseph Malik.
Kathryn Joseph said of the musician’s death: “There is no one more beautiful. Our hearts are broken.”
there is no one more beautiful.
our hearts are broken. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/fUGCuzTxrF
— kathryn joseph (@kathrynjoseph_) November 7, 2021
Inge Thomson added: “RIP Beldina, you beautiful thing.” Hen Hoose said they were “totally devastated” by the news of Onassis’ death. “We are heartbroken and our thoughts are with her family and friends,” they said.
RIP Beldina, you beautiful thing 💔 https://t.co/VW4Lpi7ThK
— Inge Thomson (@IngeThomson) November 7, 2021
We are totally devastated by the news that Beldina has passed away. We are heartbroken and our thoughts are with her family and friends. pic.twitter.com/i7jdzIVfnw
— HenHoose (@Hen_Hoose) November 7, 2021
Scottish Women In Music also paid tribute, calling Onassis “an outstanding talent”. See more tributes below.
Beldina Odenyo Onassis – Heir of the Cursed, this is devastating news and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. What an outstanding talent. pic.twitter.com/OytKYBz3Dy
— ScotWIM (@ScotWim) November 7, 2021
Beldina was a writer whose extraordinary talent was just beginning to be fully recognised on Scottish stages. Her songs explored life's hardest moments with honesty and beauty. Her work on Lament For Sheku Bayoh was unforgettable. We will miss her. https://t.co/8eE1EmEOEw
— David Greig (@DavieGreig) November 7, 2021
We are shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Beldina Odenyo Onassis (Heir of the Cursed).
Beldina was an incredible artist and had a huge warm heart. We will never forget her mesmerising performances at SAMA.
Sending love to Beldina's family and friends. x pic.twitter.com/qL0mlDCXqf
— SAMA (@OfficialSAMA) November 8, 2021
We're deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Beldina Odenyo Onassis, who performed as Heir Of The Cursed. A brilliant songwriter and performer, she was just starting to bring her music to a wider audience.
Sending love to Beldina's family and friends. pic.twitter.com/XYwVsl2tii
— monorail music (@Monorail_Music) November 8, 2021
We are beyond devastated to learn of the loss of Beldina Odenyo Onassis. As Heir of the Cursed, she performed at the opening night of our first ever festival. She started us on our journey. A beautiful performer and person. The world is a little harder today. Love and solidarity. https://t.co/qmnzuJ26o2
— PaisleyBookFest (@BookPaisley) November 8, 2021
Beldina wrote and performed the music for the show and was truly a blessing to have involved.
Our thoughts are with their family, friends, and all who loved her.
— The Lyceum (@lyceumtheatre) November 8, 2021