Ishmeet Singh, winner of the popular Star Plus reality show Voice of India 2007, died in Maldives on Tuesday (29th July 2008) evening. He drowned in the swimming pool of his hotel Chaaya Island Dhonveli in North Male.
The 19-year-old, from a middle-class family in Ludhiana, Punjab, had gone to the Maldives for a promotional event with the music company with which he had a contract.
The singer left Mumbai Tuesday morning for the Maldives, where he was to perform Aug 1. However, he drowned Tuesday in a swimming pool at a beach resort.
It may be recalled that Ishmeet was among the top two finalists on Amul Star Voice of India and was crowned the winner on November 24, 2007, beating Harshit Saxena. He was also one of the contestants of Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar, a singing reality show on Star Plus and represented the Champions team. He was eliminated on June 20, 2008.
Lata Mangeshkar, whom Ishmeet and Harshit had met as contestants and who gave away the winner’s trophy, recalled Ishmeet as a sweet fellow. She said, “I feel very sad. He’d come to meet me, sang for me, and I had nudged him to pay a little more attention to classical training. He’d told me, ‘Mein ek din aapko bahot bada ban ke dikhaoonga’ (one day I’ll make a big name for myself),” Lata told a TV channel.
Music composers Jatin Pandit and his brother Lalit Pandit, who co-judged Ishmeet on “Voice of India” (VOI), said they were shocked by the news of Ishmeet’s death.
Jatin said: “I am shocked. He was an innocent boy. Ishmeet always had it in the back of his mind that he had to be the ‘VOI’ winner. I had even been to his house in Ludhiana and had food with his family. I know everyone in his house. I can’t believe he is no more. If he would have continued with the same zeal, he would have made his mark in the industry.”
Farah Khan, judge on Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar , said, “He was a gentleman, never saying anything bad about any contestant. Once I was having a late dinner in the studio and he sat beside me, sharing my food. He told me, ‘You have so many fans. I’d never thought I would one day eat sitting side by side with you.’ I still can’t believe he’s dead.”
Playback singers Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik, who are also judges on music reality shows, have expressed shock at Ishmeet’s death. “It’s shocking. It’s a cruel thing that has happened to him. I still can’t believe it,” said Yagnik.
Harshit Saxena, Amul Star Voice of India runner up, said, “He was like a brother to me. I cannot even comment on what has happened. I cannot believe that he is no longer with us.”