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“Proud a mi kulcha:” Gloria Arnold, alias Bella Carib, dies at 68

Posted: Friday, May 12, 2023. 11:22 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Performer and entertainer Dr Gloria Arnold-Heon, better known as Bella Carib, has died at 68 in Los Angeles, California.

Though she is perhaps best known in Belize for a string of musical hits including “Baldhead Man,” “Proud a Mi Kulcha,” “Coming Home Belize” and “Rice and Beans”, her career in the arts stretches back decades as a choreographer, dancer, and dramatist specializing in Caribbean rhythm.

Among an extensive list of credits, Bella Carib appeared as a lead dancer in Universal’s motion picture Doctor Detroit, alongside film star Dan Aykroyd and the legendary James Brown. In addition, she was featured on numerous television shows and in hundreds of concerts and musicals, working with world-acclaimed artists such as Lucky Dube, the Mighty Sparrow, El General, and David Rudder.

She also completed a year in concert with the Legendary Greats of Comedy, Jazz & Soul, hosted by Ernest Thomas, star of the television show, What’s Happening Now. With this group, she stylistically portrayed one of her idols, the legendary Josephine Baker.

Bella resided in Los Angeles, and held a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Southern California, but grew up in Belize and got her start with Bob Reneau’s musical and dance group. She later worked with African-American dance instructors R’Wanda Lewis and Katherine Dunham in Los Angeles and Rex Nettleford of Jamaica, to whom she was first introduced in Trinidad.

She is survived by family and friends including brother Pupa Curly and many admirers. Funeral details are yet to be announced.

 

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