Barbados-born calypso artiste Francine Edwards, better known onstage as Singing Francine, died in Queens, New York last Friday. She was 79.
She was reported to have suffered a heart attack.
Singing Francine won the National Calypso Queen competition in Trinidad in 1972, 1973,1981 and 1983.
A news release from the Trinbago United Calypsonians Organization (TUCO) said that “throughout her career, she used her musical talents to address social issues, particularly affecting women.”
“In her 1978 calypso ‘Runaway’ she addressed the topic of domestic violence, urging women in abusive situations to seek help,” the release noted.
It also noted that she became “an important figure” in the development of parang.
“Singing Francine released a number of Christmas hits, earning her the reputation as one of the best parranderos in Trinidad,” the release said.
“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.