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Who is The Tenors’ Remigio Pereira who changed ‘O Canada’ lyrics to add ‘All Lives Matter’?

Posted by on 21/11/2018

Canadian vocal quartet The Tenors blamed group member Remigio Pereira, for acting as a “lone wolf” in altering the lyrics to O Canada at the Major League Baseball All-Star game in San Diego on Tuesday. He included the phrase “all lives matter,” a move that quickly drew widespread outrage.

READ MORE: Tenors incite 桑拿会所 fury with change to ‘O Canada’ lyrics at MLB All-Star game

WATCH: The Tenors strike a sour note over ‘All Lives Matter’ rendition of ‘O Canada’ Eric Sorensen reports.

The group, based in British Columbia, said that Pereira will not perform with the Tenors until further notice. The group also apologized, saying that the other members were “shocked and embarrassed by the actions of Remigio Pereira.”

Who is Remigio Pereira?

The controversy happened during the middle of the anthem when, during his solo, Pereira unexpectedly sang: “We’re all brothers and sisters. All lives matter to the great” replacing the original lyrics, “With glowing hearts we see thee rise. The True North strong and free.”

Remigio Pereira of the Tenors performs at Caesars in Windsor, Ont. in 2011

( Images/Gene Schilling)

He also held up a sign that read “All Lives Matter,” with “United We Stand” written on the back, which drew sideways glances from the other members.

Pereira has defended himself in a series of tweets, in which he said he had hoped the change in lyrics would be perceived as a positive statement “that would bring us ALL together.”

“I’ve been so moved lately by the tragic loss of life and I hoped for a positive statement that would bring us ALL together,” he tweeted.

Pereira was born in Boston to Portuguese parents, according to The MetroWest Daily News. He and his family moved to Ottawa before he was six months old. He studied vocal and classical guitar at Le Conservatoire where he graduated with a master’s degree in classical guitar performance, according to his biography on the Tenors’ website.

The Tenors performed for Queen Elizabeth in May during her 90th birthday celebration at Windsor Castle.

WATCH: #Anthemgate backlash continues as The Tenors issue apology

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Since their formation in 2007, The Tenors have performed more than 500 concerts on five continents and made over 150 television appearances, including at the 2014 Stanley Cup finals, the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2012 Emmy Awards.

Pereira has also sung in professional opera companies and performed numerous solo recitals for ambassadors, prime ministers and presidents worldwide, according to his biography.

He is also no stranger to sharing his views on social media.

In a long and rambling Facebook post from July 9, Pereira appears to fall in line with the Flat Earth Conspiracy movement, which asserts the Earth is flat.

The other members of the group include are Clifton Murray, Fraser Walters and Victor Micallef. The Tenors are a Juno Award-winning group and have recorded multiple platinum selling albums in Canada and are planning to launch a 70-city North American tour in September.

The incident sparked a torrent of outrage online over both the change to Canada’s national anthem, and the use of “all lives matter,” which is viewed as a rejection of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Sandy Hudson says she was frustrated when she heard the O Canada lyrics were changed to include the phrase “all lives matter.”

READ MORE: Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder baffled by Canadian anthem change by The Tenors

“It was really frustrating to hear that that’s happening in such a space,” Hudson said during an interview on Global’s The Morning Show on Wednesday.

“I take offence to the phrase ‘all lives matter.’ I don’t know if I take offence to that [referring to the rendition], but I think it’s kind of ludicrous.”

*With files from David Shum and the Canadian Press

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