Services have been set for April 24 for Michaelina Bellamy, whose long career as a working singer in Las Vegas was usurped by the headlines of her 2007 assault by a Catholic priest. She died April 7 of leukemia, at age 59.
Bellamy’s resume included two long stints with the Tropicana’s "Folies Bergere," from 1978 through 1984 and from 1987 through 1990. She also toured with Engelbert Humperdinck as a backup singer and is featured in one of his concert DVDs. During the 2000s, she was a solo-billed lounge singer at the Stratosphere’s Top of the World lounge.
Bellamy became front-page news in January 2007 when she was assaulted by the Rev. George Chaanine at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church while employed there as an events coordinator.
After Chaanine battered her with a wine bottle, doctors used 20 staples to close a gash on her head. She was treated for a broken hand and bruises on her throat, head and knees.
After evading arrest for six days, making national news as "the fugitive priest," Chaanine eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison.
Bellamy and one of her daughters testified that the priest was obsessed with her. "The more I stayed away, the more he pushed," she said in 2007.
In happier days, Bellamy billed herself as a "Miva," or Mexican diva, touting her ability to sing in Spanish, Portuguese, French and English.
She was born in Los Angeles on June 13, 1952. She served in the U.S. Air Force and sang with the Airmen of Note. She also accompanied Bob Hope on a USO tour of Vietnam.
"I’ve done a lot of things, been to a lot of places," she told the Review-Journal in 2005, while working the Stratosphere’s lounge. "The lounge is the interlude of a great song, that’s how I view my life."
Last October, when Bellamy’s medical bills for her cancer treatments were mounting, local entertainers rallied in a benefit at the South Point for a performer who always had been generous donating her own time and talent to various fundraisers.
She is survived by three daughters — Maria Kintner, Andreanna Veith and Jacquelyn Veith — and by six grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. April 24 in the Guardian Angel Cathedral, 302 Cathedral Way. Burial will follow at 2 p.m. at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Boulder City.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0288.