Close-Friends and Band Members mourn to Johnson Atilard

15 Dec

Myrlande “M.C” Charelus

mcharel@eagle.fgcu.edu

Johnson Atilard, a husband, a father and a singer of the band Legal has died on Thursday, Dec 8.

Mickenson Pierre said Atilard was coming from a football game. He was driving seven kids from DJJ when he lost control of the SUV he was driving and drove into a canal in Everglades.

Atilard, 25 and 17-year-old Daniel Heurta were pronounced deceased at the Physicians Regional Center.

Atilard was one of the lead members of a Haitian band named Legal. The band was supposed to be celebrating its first year anniversary that Saturday, but instead will be attending Atilard’s funeral service.

Lesage Augustin, who has known Atilard over a decade, is also Legal’s other lead singer. He and Atilard were roommates for three years and that’s how they developed the idea of forming a Compas group, which is a common Haitian genre. The band members are Lesage Augustin, Johnson Atilard, Wender Atilard, who is Johnson younger brother, Charly Gabriel, Fritzly Isme, Frantz Joseph and Jeanes Charite.

“Singing is our passion, we used to walked around the house singing every day and since he already had the experience working with other bands; so that’s how we came up with the idea of having our own band,” said Augustin.

The band first performance was in Dec. 2010 and has been performing around southwest Florida since. Legal is well known in the community, and its schedule was booked until Valentine’s Day 2012; including the band’s anniversary, Dec. 17, Christmas’s Eve Bash, Haiti’s Benefit concert and a Valentines bash.

“Before each performance, we used to talk about what we were going to do; I know he would want the band to advance without him, but as of right now, I don’t have the strength to sing by myself or without him by my side,” said Augustin.

Pierre met Atilard in early 2000 when Atilard just moved from Haiti. They went to middle and high school together. Pierre said Atilard was the simplest person you would ever met and he always used to have a smile on his face; Pierre says what he will miss the most about Atilard is his personality.

“He left a five-month-old son and a wife, his son will grow up without a father, and my responsibility is to let him know who Johnson was,” said Pierre.

Charly Gabriel, member from Legal; he met Atilard two years ago from a previous band they used to sing together, E-Z Mizik.

“All this is a memory to me; my birthday will never be the same. We used to celebrate together and this upcoming event was supposed to be my birthday bash, but instead will be his funeral service,” said Gabriel.

Augustin and the rest of the band’s members want to keep Atilard’s legacy by keeping the band together. But as of right now they band is recovering from their devastating loss.

“He was a part of us, his dream was for the band to become a bigger group so our job is to get on that level,” said Gabriel.

Star Lounge and Auberge Creole will be hosting two memorial events on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 6 p.m. through 10p.m follow by his funeral and burial on Sunday Dec. 18, at 1 p.m.

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164 Responses to “Close-Friends and Band Members mourn to Johnson Atilard”

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    Very touching story, thank you for sharing.

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      no problem… I’m glad you’re like it

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    Thank you MC. We really appreciate the gesture. His memory will never fade away, for we will always keep him in our hearts. “Forever in our hearts”

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