We would like to convey our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Beldina Odenyo Onassis, who died on 5 November.
Beldina, also known as Heir of the Cursed, was a hugely gifted singer, musician, and writer who had worked with us on numerous occasions since 2017, including commissions to write a song, A Way From Rage, for the Mental Health Foundation’s 70th anniversary in 2019, and a poem for this year’s Hope Sculpture project.
Beldina had increasingly been making her mark as an artist in both the music world and the theatre world. In recent months she had performed in two acclaimed Edinburgh festival shows, Move and Lament for Sheku Bayoh, created a new piece of work for the inaugural Push the Boat Out poetry festival, and performed at the Scottish Album of the Year Awards. She was to have played a headline show at 2022’s Celtic Connections, recording a live album in the process.
Andrew Eaton-Lewis, arts programme officer for the Mental Health Foundation, said: “Beldina was an extraordinary, multi-talented artist as well as one of our favourite human beings. It was a privilege to work and spend time with her, and it was increasingly clear that she was only just beginning to realise her creative potential; A Way From Rage, the song she recorded for the Mental Health Foundation, is still one of very few recordings that exist online. She had so much more life to live and will be missed terribly by everyone who knew her.”
If you have been affected by Beldina's death, you can find free, confidential support services at mentalhealth.org.uk/hope.