March 2001


REAL NAME: McArtha Linda Sandy-Lewis
DATE OF BIRTH: April 27, 1940
PLACE OF BIRTH: Bethel, Tobago
EDUCATION: San Juan Government School
CAREER:                                  Born into a large family, Rose was sent to live with an aunt in Trinidad when she was nine years old. However, while growing up in Tobago, she had begun singing calypsoes and her interest in singing continued while attending school in Trinidad. In 1957, she began her calypso career at the Original Young Brigade Tent and went on to become the first female calypsonian to win a national title when she took the Road March Crown in 1977 with "Tempo." She returned in 1978 to take both the Calypso Crown ("Her Majesty" and "I Thank Thee") and the Road March title ("Soca Jam") thus becoming the first calypsonian to win both crowns in the same year. Because of her success, the name of the title was changed from Calypso King to Calypso Monarch in 1978. She later moved to California, USA, and appeared in shows with famous American entertainers such as Michael Jackson, Harry Belafonte, and Roberta Flack. Rose's career has taken her to many parts of the world, including Belize, Chile, and many of the Scandinavian and African countries. In February 2017, the T&T Government granted her a diplomatic passport in recognition of her achievement of winning the equivalent of a French Grammy for her album "Far From Home" at the 2016 Victoire de la Musique awards. Her other calypsoes include:
  • 1957 - Glass Thief
  • 1966 - Fire in Me Wire
  • 1970 - Engagement Ring
  • 1975 - Do Dem Back
  • 1977 - Warrior; Come Leh We Jam; Play Mas, Play Mas; Police Band Jamming; Voodoo Lay Loo
  • 2017 - Leave Me Alone
  • Also - Ah Still Batting; A Man Is A Man; Turn on De Pressure; Let We Punta; Fire in Belize; The Balance Wheel; Respect the Balisier; The Action Is Tight; Israel by Bus
  • 1975 - British Empire Medal of Merit Class II; Trinidad & Tobago Public Service Medal of Merit Silver (for Calypso)
  • 1986 - Citizens of Liberia Humanitarian Award
  • 1989 - Sunshine Award (for Calypso and Steelband)
  • 2000 - Trinidad & Tobago Humming Bird Medal Gold (for Culture)
  • 2006 - Caribbean American Heritage Award
  • 2014 - Honorary Doctor of Letters (D Litt), University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad
  • 2016 - Artist Award, World Music Expo (WOM­EX)
  • 2017 - Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT)
  • 2017 - World Album of the Year, Victoire de la Musique, France
  • 2018 - Grand Prize for World Music (for album "Far from Home"), Sacem Grand Prix, France
Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit