Thursday, April 18, 2024

Singing Francine passes

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Francine Edwards, known in the calypso word as “Singing Francine”, passed away early this morning.

Singing Francine was born in Barbados on February 13th 1943 and came to Trinidad 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.”

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.

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.

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.” (Trinidad Express)

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