World award for the Queen of Calypso

Calypso Rose will add yet another accolade to her vast collection: the 2016 WOMEX Artist Award.

Rose, whose real name is McArtha Lewis, will be honoured in 2016 by the World Music Expo (WOMEX), at the 18th WOMEX Awards at Santiago de Compostela in Spain in October. She will also perform at the event.

The WOMEX Awards is one of the globe’s major awards for world music, first introduced in 1999 to pay tribute to international artistes for musical excellence, success on the world stage, political impact and lifetime achievement.

Among the past winners of the WOMEX Awards are renowned South African musician and vocalist Hugh Masekela and late Pakistani legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who were grammy nominees from 2013 and 1997 respectively.

The Bethel-born singer, who is known as the “Queen of Calypso”, has written over 800 songs and recorded more than 20 albums, for which she has received numerous awards.

At 76, the calypso great continues to tour and perform, as shown in her recent collaboration “Leave Me Alone” with prominent French-born musician and producer, Manu Chao, who performs in various languages, including French, Spanish, English and Portuguese. Chao has collaborated with some of the world’s biggest names in the music industry.

Chief Secretary Orville London described Lewis as an “icon”, and an inspiration to aspiring artistes.

“Calypso Rose is a consummate example of the rich talent Tobago has produced over the years,” London said. “She continues to put Tobago, and by extension, Trinidad and Tobago on the map with her many achievements, for which she continues to be recognised.

“I hope that her contributions serve as an inspiration to our young artistes, and show them that if you work hard, you can achieve success.”

London also revealed that Calypso Rose will be honoured with a new award named after her.

“I am proud to announce that this year, because of her contributions to our culture and the recognition that she has brought to Tobago, we will be introducing the annual Calypso Rose Award to an outstanding Tobagonian in the performing arts.”

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