When I was a child and growing up, I was learning a lot about my Armenian heritage, the culture and music. My parents, brother, grandparents. They instilled all this in my life, my heart and soul. As I was going through my shelf of Armenian tapes, cd’s, videos, I saw some of Robert Chilingirian. I decided to pick them up from the shelf and put them aside so I can put them one by one into the stereo, and began listening. I began to enjoy my Armenian music a lot since I was a child. I really enjoyed his music so much that I began listening to him everyday.
Now, as I got older and got into the social media and internet world, some time went by and I created an account on Myspace. In the mid 2000’s, almost 12 years ago, I decided to press my luck and search for Robert Chilingirian. I was in very much luck. I did indeed find him. Then I added him as a friend and messaged him, saying I am a huge fan of you and your music and so much more. Then not even 2 hours later, I saw a response from him. I was very surprised on how quick of a response I received. I then felt that he is a pure and genuine person who was so prompt into responding.
So, after that we began communicating many times per week. Then we created a beautiful new friendship. We exchanged phone numbers and spoke with each other a few times. It was an absolute delight having conversations, about his music, about music in general, general conversations about life, and getting to know each other. We became great friends after a couple of years that past.
We finally met each other in 2009 or 2010 when he came to Toronto, Canada for a performance. He made sure that he made time for me as we met for breakfast, spent quite a few hours together and made our online friendship a face to face debut. Robert always cared about his family, friends, and fans. He made sure that he gives his all to everyone around him. I then saw him last in 2014 when he visited Toronto again. We hung out once again and had a lot of fun.
His music and the way he presented himself was incredibly awesome. He made me very happy. Out of his busy schedule with touring internationally, his family, personal time and amongst the many concerts and shows he was part of, he always had time for me and to see how I am doing.
He had a song called Basbusa, and its a middle eastern dessert and so that was his nickname to me because I once told him that I loved that song. All these fond and beautiful memories I spent with him, was something that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, his life was cut very short on October 20, 2016. I heard the most terrible news. My world came tumbling down. In my life, I had never cried this much as much as I have cried in the past month. I cannot believe that it has almost been a month since he has passed on. It just doesn’t seem real and I don’t ever want to believe it happened. The news hurt me so much that I still feel so hurt. He passed away from a rare blood disorder that was so aggressive and the doctors caught it very late. I had no idea he was sick. I guess he did not want to worry me with the news.
I will never understand or put into words on why he was taken away so soon, he was full of life, traveling the world, he still had many shows underway, he still had so much energy to do what he loved, the love of instruments, the passion he carried out for his loved ones and fans, the many things he still had planned to do, his jewellery line Roberto Arichi that became a success in the recent years.
I will keep continuing to keep his legacy alive, his memory alive. My Great friend Robert Chilingirian will always be my superstar, my lovely friend and someone whom I will never ever forget. That is a promise. I made a promise to his children, family, friends and fans, that I will do everything in my power to keep his name going and to always spread around the goodness he gave out to the world. If it wasn’t for my parents, and for having Armenian music in my home, I would never have known about him and I would have never searched for him to then becoming friends. I am forever grateful to them.
He deserves a beautiful tribute and legacy and which I intend to give to him. I am sure he is smiling down from heaven and who is my angel, and who will always be with me in every step of the way in my life. Thank you Robert for the beautiful 12 years we communicated and thank you for the beautiful memories. I will forever appreciate every moment. God Rest your beautiful soul. I love you my great friend, and I always will.
I hope to meet his family soon.