The four-time calypso king Kelvin Pope, the Mighty Duke, died at the Ellerslie Park Private Hospital (formerly Stanley's) at 1.05 pm yesterday.
Duke, 77, was born in St Vincent and came to Trinidad at a tender age and lived at Andel Road in Point Fortin, before moving to Cap-de-Ville Main Road. Calypsonian Dr Hollis "Chalkdust" Liverpool said, "At this time words fail me, but I was happy to say a prayer at his bedside with his son Constable Wendell Pope and his wife Rebecca, while he was going.
"For the past two years he has been ailing, having had regular blood transfusions as his system was unable to reproduce red and white blood cells," Chalkdust said. "There are very few people in the entertainment world who have scaled the towers of composing and singing calypsoes like Duke. "Although Duke was born in St Vincent, he was 100 per cent Trinbagonian. "Every one of his calypsoes was a gem and I easily remember the album Harps of Gold." Duke won the calypso king title for four consecutive years from 1968 to 1971. Liverpool said Duke was taken to hospital on Tuesday after he was not responding to a blood transfusion he had last week.
Chairman of Trinbago Unified Calypso Organisation (Tuco) Eric Taylor, the Pink Panther said, "I feel very, very, distressed with the death of Duke.
"We have lost another jewel in the crown of calypso...We at TUCO join with the rest of the nation in mourning Duke's passing. Slinger Francisco, the Mighty Sparrow, said, "What a shocker! I never knew him to be so sick to leave us this way. Wow, another champion has gone.... c'est la vie. "I did not know him to be bed-ridden and did not expect to hear of Duke passing on," Sparrow said. "I guess he did it his way, and remember he is the only one to win four times in a row."