In 2009, the dance group Diversity won BGT. Tragically, one of the group’s members, Robert Anker, died in a car crash in 2017. He was only 27 years old at the time.
Following his death, both Diversity and BGT paid tribute to Rob. Read on to find out more about his journey with Diversity, as well as the details surrounding his tragic death.
Dance Group Diversity Won ‘BGT’ 2009
Members of Diversity ranged in age from 12 to 27 at the time of their audition. Their performance featured acrobatic flips, slow-motion moves, and even a dancer emerging from a bag. The group, led by choreographer Ashley Banjo, went on to win the season.
While Rob Anker was a former member of the group, he didn’t appear on BGT. However, he did reportedly appear on shows like X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing. He also performed in a West End production of the Michael Jackson musical Thriller Live.
Diversity has had huge success since their BGT win. They’ve gone on several tours, and returned to the Got Talent stage earlier this year to perform a routine themed to the Black Lives Matter movement. The performance received over 15,000 complaints from viewers.
Ashley Banjo responded to the criticism by writing, “Silence was never and will never be an option.” He also thanked people for their hateful messages, writing, “You highlight exactly what needs to change and why this was so important to me and the rest of @diversity_official.”
Rob Anker Passed Away In A Car Crash In 2017
Rob, who was born in Essex, had moved to Canada to live with his wife Cyndi, whom he married in 2016. In July 2017, he was involved in a car accident in Ontario. Rob tragically died, while the other driver involved survived.
Rob’s family set up a fundraising page to help them travel to Canada for his funeral. “The family are devastated,” his cousin Rochelle Hanson wrote. “He was an amazing and talented dancer. We would love to ensure that his family don’t worry or stress about money at this time.”
Rob’s sister Olivia told the BBC that he was her “stand-in dad,” adding that he helped her “shape into the person I am.” She said it “doesn’t feel very real.”
After Rob’s death, Diversity tweeted a heartfelt tribute message, saying, “He inspired so many with his talent and was taken far too soon.” BGT also posted a response to the news, writing, “We are so sorry to hear of the loss of Robert Anker, our thoughts and condolences go out to his friends, family and the whole of Diversity.”
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