Remembering the Orlando 49: Shane Evan Tomlinson 

click to enlarge shanetomlinson.jpg

Every week between now and the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shootings, Orlando Weekly will profile a person killed on June 12, 2016. This week: Shane Evan Tomlinson

The first thing people hear about Shane Evan Tomlinson is how beautiful his voice was. But the most beautiful part about Tomlinson was his giving heart, says his best friend, Quinten Simmons.

The 33-year-old singer liked to help people in need and "had a heart for everybody," Simmons says.

"He was a good friend," he says. "He poured into people. He loved hard, whether it was through agreements or disagreements. He encouraged people to be the best they could be. He didn't need a stage for that."

Simmons says he and Tomlinson met about seven years ago after Tomlinson moved to Orlando from Atlanta. Originally from New York and a graduate of East Carolina University, Tomlinson became the lead vocalist of local cover band Frequency and sang at weddings and clubs. He had big dreams for Frequency and wanted to travel with the band abroad. Some of his favorite artists were Jazmine Sullivan, John Legend, Janet Jackson and Brandy Norwood.

Tomlinson's father, Stephen Tomlinson, told WSOC-TV that his son "has always been someone who loved the Lord. From the time when he was 18 months old, he sang to the Lord."

Hours before his death, Tomlinson had performed with Frequency at Blue Martini nightclub on June 11. Tomlinson later went to the LGBT nightclub Pulse, where he perished along with 48 others in early hours of June 12.

Simmons says he has since moved to Philadelphia as part of his healing process, though he still speaks every day with Tomlinson's parents, who he says have found resiliency in their faith. He keeps close to him the memories of his best friend, including the times they would pack their bags and go on random road trips or go out to brunch on the weekends, especially at Kasa Restaurant & Bar.

"I find myself still having conversations with him every day," he says. "He lived every moment and he enjoyed every minute of it."

Monivette Cordeiro

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