A United States-based publication has named calypsonian Slinger Francisco, popularly known as The Mighty Sparrow, as its “Person of the Year,” Caribbean360.com reports.
“Any person, in any part of the world, regardless to sex, age and vocation, can emulate the virtues The Mighty Sparrow exemplified during 2014,” said Herman Hall, the Grenadian-born editor, publisher and founder of the Brooklyn, New York-based Everybody’s magazine.
“For those reasons, we unabashedly proclaim our readers’ selection of The Mighty Sparrow as the ‘2014 Person of the Year’”, he added.
Hall said Sparrow was “overwhelmingly” selected by its readers and social media friends from among “many regional leaders and people of Caribbean heritage in the Diaspora.”
He said they included Tiffany Ford, of St. Lucian-Grenadian heritage, elected into municipal government in Toronto, Canada; Rodneyse Bichotte, the first Haitian-American elected to the New York State Assembly; Barbados Leader of the Opposition Mia Ottley; the 2008 and 2014 Formula One Grand Prix World Champion, Lewis Hamilton of the UK, who is of Grenadian heritage; outgoing US Attorney-General Eric Holder, of Barbadian heritage; and Antigua and Barbuda’s newly elected Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
“Of all email messages received from Toronto, UK (United Kingdom), Jamaica, Guyana, Boston (Massachusetts) and other places, one name kept appearing often – The Mighty Sparrow,” Hall said.
Hall said this “indomitable spirit has been the defining feature of Sparrow’s life work, as he continues demonstrating sheer grit and an ability, ‘inspired by God’ to, ‘survive through pain, sorrow and tears,’ rendered in one of his hits, ‘Survival’.
“Sparrow’s timeless message and his health challenges testify to man’s will to survive,” he added.
The Mighty Sparrow, whose roots are in Gran Roi, a rural fishing village in Grenada, was born there to a poor working class family.
The family migrated to Sparrow’s adopted homeland, Trinidad and Tobago, when he was one year old.
At 20, Sparrow emerged as the leading calypsonian in Trinidad and Tobago with his record-breaking hit, “Jean and Dinah.”