Tobago-born calypsonian Lord Nelson (Robert Nelson) was presented with a lifetime award for his contribution to culture on Saturday.
Following his high energy performance on the second night of Tobago Loves Soca at Canoe Bay, the 87-year-old bard was presented with a plaque by Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Kevin Charles.
Dressed in his trademark jumpsuit and jacket and sporting a thick gold chain, Nelson performed three of his calypso classics, La La, Disco Daddy and Meh Lover, dancing with emcee Nikki Crosby at one stage in his performance and ending by taking off his shoes.
In an interview backstage, he said he was happy to receive the award and had flown in from his home in New York for the event.
“Is Carnival time so I have to come and shake, shake, shake,” he said.
Nelson, who is scheduled to perform at other events this season, including Under the Trees at The Normandie with the Signal Hill Alumni Choir, said all of his calypsos are still very much in demand.
“You don’t have no special song for Nello, all of them are in demand.”
When asked for the secret to his health and longevity he said: “I believe in God and avoid terrible things. If I open my mouth you go zip it up.”
He attributes his health to his diet of seafood and said saltfish is his favourite.
“I like it with bone, I like it without bone. I like it with dumpling, I like it with not too much salt. I love saltfish,” he said.
Concert promoter Randy Glasglow said he chose Tobago to host the three-day event because most Carnival activities are focused on Trinidad.
“Tobago is such a beautiful island. Last year there was so much difficulty with people to get transport, so we decided to take the thing to the people. Tobagonians don’t have to worry about getting a flight or a boat,” he said.
Glasglow said bigger events are planned and he was satisfied with the turnout at the concert.
The show, which started after midnight, also featured performances by Barbadian singer Marzville, Erphaan Alves, Olatunji, Nailah Blackman, Farmer Nappy and others.