BALLADEER Roberto “Bert” Nievera has passed away in the US, according to posts on social media by his family. He was 81.
“You gave me life, you gave me dreams, you gave me a haircut!” his son, singer and “Concert King,” Martin Nievera said on his Instagram account. “I will never forget you Dad! I love you!”
“To the one that started it all. The one who keeps singing even though he ‘forgot the stupid words’. Thank you for the memories, Lolo. I love you and I will miss you,” grandson, Robin, also posted on Instagram.
Nievera died of organ failure caused by sepsis at the Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), according to a report on the ABS-CBN news website.
Roberto Jose Dela Cruz Nievera was born on October 17, 1936 in Baguio City. His first singing gig was in 1958. He was a daily performer at the Airmen’s Club of Camp John Hay in Baguio City. In 1959, he won the “Search for the Johnny Mathis of the Philippines” in the variety TV show Student Canteen.
Nievera became more popular during the 1960’s, as he became lead singer of the group Society of Seven in the United States from 1969 to 1976. The group performed in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other major US West Coast cities. He also appeared with the group, alongside his son, Martin, and Lani Misalucha at the Flamingo Las Vegas in 2008.
In 1989, Nievera returned to the Philippines. At the time, the younger Nievera’s singing career had blossomed.
His first album was “Nievera,” released in Hollywood by Silver Sword Production in 1976, after leaving Society of Seven. He would release an all-Filipino album, “Sumasainyo, Bert Nievera” in 1978. He would release a third album “Nievera Remembers” in 1985.
In 1990, Nievera performed at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.
Nievera and his wife, Carol, were franchise operators of the restaurant chain Country Waffles. In 2006, the Department of Justice (DoJ) charged them for failing to pay P14.5 million to an investor in their business.
Nievera later moved to Las Vegas and has lived there for the past decade.
Celebrities have paid tribute to Nievera on social media, after his passing.
“To Daddy Bert Nievera, my second dad, may you rest in peace,” wrote Martin Nievera’s ex-wife, Pops Fernandez on Instagram, while showing a picture of Nievera with his son and his grandson. “Thank you for all the beautiful memories. Condolences to the Nievera family.”
“Rest in Peace, Tito Bert Nievera,” Lea Salonga tweeted.
“Thank you for the exceptional talent, Uncle Bert Nievera,” tweeted jazz pianist and singer Boy Katindig. ARIC JOHN SY CUA