Community praying for the Mighty Sparrow

Community praying for the Mighty Sparrow
The Mighty Sparrow.
Photo by William Farrington

Richard Francisco, the son of iconic calypso singer, the Mighty Sparrow, has shot down all rumors that the monarch is dead. Instead, the young Slinger stated exclusively to Caribbean Life, that his father is doing well. He added that he would speak with his family and issue a complete statement to this newspaper at a later date, about the improving condition of his father.

The Internet and social media including Facebook have been inundated with rumors that the calypso heavy weight had passed away, speculations that were shot-down by the singer’s son.

In an exclusive statement to Caribbean Life, Borough President Marty Markowitz said, “I pray for a speedy and full recovery for my dear friend of over 30 years, the Mighty Sparrow.”

Markowitz added, “He is the true calypso king of the world, a proud son of both Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago, and a storyteller extraordinaire who has delighted audiences across the Caribbean and beyond, including right here in Brooklyn, USA where he has performed on my summer concert stage for 31 successive years.”

The Trinidad Express broke the news that the Grenadian-born singer was in a coma in a New York hospital fighting for his life and stated that the family of the legend on Monday issued a statement asking Sparrow’s community of fans to pray for the legend, while honoring the family’s privacy.

The report went on to say that the family has since refused to give any additional information to the media here or in New York, although a member of Sparrow’s family said on an internet radio station: “On a scale of one to 10, he is at four.”

News of the singer’s illness sent shockwaves throughout the Caribbean community who regard the Mighty Sparrow as a calypso hero, whose music has become a staple in millions of households around the world.

The 78-year-old showman who sang “Age is Just A Number” and “Who Kill the Sparrow,” has in recent years been performing while sitting in a chair, but continued to wow audiences with his suggestive lyrics and body movement.

With more than 50 years of entertaining under his belt, the calypso genius continued to bring enjoyment to his thousands of fans that continue to pack Wingate High School grounds in Brooklyn, at the annual MLK Concert series, organized by Borough President Marty Markowitz.

The calypso monarch, who was born Francisco Slinger in Grand Roy, Grenada, and who sky-rocked to fame when he moved to Trinidad and Tobago, was admitted to the hospital sometime last week and remains in a comatose state, according to several reports.

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