Calypso Legend Sir Rupert “King Swallow” Philo Dies
Calypso legend of Antigua and Barbuda Sir Rupert ‘King Swallow’ Philo has died. He was 78.
King Swallow succumb to death surrounded by his loved ones at his home in Willikies on Friday after suffering from a prolonged illness.
He began competing in the calypso art form when still a youth in 1961. His very first hit entitled Raphael Trujillo recalled the story of a dictator of the Dominican Republic, whose maltreatment of migrant workers from Antigua and Barbuda was re-told upon their return home.
Sir Ruper has earned several calypso crowns over his career and won Antigua’s road march titles five times. His other hits include Fire in the Backseat, Subway Jam, Party In Space and Satan Coming Down.
He is also known for his social and political commentary.
The Calypso community across the region is mourning the loss of a legend.
“During this time the vibrant, fiery and pulsating rhythms of his soca hits have created frenzy wherever and whenever he performs,” Trinbago Unified Calypsonian Organisation (TUCO) said.
King Swallow was awarded the Order of Merit (Gold), and the Grand Cross of Princely Heritage during terms of governance under the Labour Party. Each award was conferred in recognition of his sterling contribution to the calypso art form.