Singing Francine Has Died

Calypso artiste Singing Francine (Francine Edwards) has died.

According to a release from the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) Singing Francine passed away early this morning

Born in Barbados on February 13, 1943, Edwards came to T&T at a young age.

“When asked how she began singing calypso, she responded, ‘I never became involved in the calypso art form. I was born into the calypso art form’,” the TUCO release stated.

On a live TV interview Singing Francine said that “The two entertainers who tremendously influenced her singing career are the Mighty Sparrow & the Lord Kitchener.

“Throughout her career, she has used her musical talent to address social issues, particularly those directly affecting women. In 1975, she sang ‘A Call to Women,’ encouraging more women to use calypso music as a vehicle of self-expression. In her 1978 calypso ‘Runaway,’ she addressed the topic of domestic violence, urging women in abusive living situations to seek help,” it stated.

Singing Francine was one of the most successful calypsonians in T&T winning the National Calypso Queen competition in 1972, 1973, 1981 and 1983.

“Over the course of her career, she has become an important figure in the development of not only calypso, but also parang. In 1981, Singing Francine released the parang album ‘Christmas is Love,’ which featured a blend of calypso, soca and parang sounds. Francine’s album came only three years after the calypsonian Crazy, released ‘Parang Soca’—one of the first songs to feature what we now call ‘parang soca’ or ‘soca parang,’ making him a pioneer in this genre,” it stated.

“Since then, many musicians such as Baron, Scrunter, Chalkdust, Kitchener, Sundar Popo, Drupatee Ramgoonai, Rikki Jai and Singing Francine have also made their mark by blending the dynamic sounds of calypso, soca, chutney and parang,” it stated.

“Over the years, Singing Francine has released a number of Christmas hits, earning her the reputation as one of the best parranderos in Trinidad. Some of her classic parang songs include “Hooray, Hurrah,” “Parang Parang,” I Love Christmas,” “Christmas is Love,” “Caribbean Christmas,” and “Ay Ay Maria,”TUCO stated.

TUCO president, Ainsley King and the General Council of TUCO, extended their condolences to the family, loved ones, friends and colleagues of the late Singing Francine.

Photo: Calypso Artist Singing Francine (Francine Edwards) SOURCE: Trinidad Guardian