She’s 82 and Linda McCartha Sandy-Lewis, Calypso Rose, string of firsts in calypso continues.
The calypso legend turned 82 on April 27 and is set to release a new album called Forever.
The album's first single, Watina, will feature famed, Grammy-award winning musician Carlos Santana and will be released on May 20. The Mexican-born, American musician has many awards to his name and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Posting to her Facebook page on April 27, Rose said she was feeling good and she thanked God for having kept her all these years.
“I miss you my fans all over the world and I think a lot about you, all the time. But don't worry next month you’ll get a taste of me with Watina my first song of my new album Forever.”
The calypso icon’s manager Jean Michel Gibert said Rose was enjoying the day resting comfortably in her Queens, New York home.
“She is having a little gathering with people around her. All morning she has been receiving phone calls from all over the world and she has received five bouquets of flowers coming from all over the world like France etc.
“She is really, really happy. She is joking and is really in very good spirits,” he added.
She also spent the day surrounded by some of her family, Gibert said.
The consistent musician and entertainer continues to produce hits and albums. In 2016 she was given the Womex Artist of the Year Award and in 2017 she was awarded TT’s highest honour: the Order of the Republic of TT (ORTT). Her recent hits such as Leave Me Alone featuring Manu Chao, and a remixed version featuring Machel Montano, have endeared her to a new generation of listeners.
Although Rose has been constantly touring she had not been doing so because of the pandemic.
On February 23, she then posted that she had to cancel her summer tour dates. She said the covid19 virus and her health situation did not allow her to come to France. She said she’d be back this spring with new songs.
Gibert said she was not touring for different reasons with the risk of covid19 being one of them.
“We don’t want Rose to get covid. Also, it would have been quite difficult to organise because of her condition. She is an older woman.”
Gibert said Rose then said if she could not be with her fans physically she’d do so through music and that was how the album release came about. He said she had been working on the album for the past four to five years.
“It was recorded in different countries, in New York, in Paris, in Belize, in TT….”
Gibert said that single was done in honour of the Garifuna people. Garifuna people are a mixed African and indigenous people and Garifuna people reside in St Vincent, Belize, and other parts of the region.
“Watina which was a big anthem song for the Garifuna. Rose did a rendition with her own talent. On this song it will be Rose and also with Carlos Santana.”
He said Carlos Santana will be doing the guitar riff and that is the first song to be released. Gibert said a video which tells the story of the Garifuna people and which was shot in Belize, will be released shortly after.
“It is a really nice and cool historical video.”
He said the Forever album will be released at the end of August. Gibert said there might possibly be 14 tracks on the album. Machel Montano and Jamaican musician Mr Vegas are some of the other artistes that will be featured on it.
More about the album will be shared closer to its release date, he said. Gibert added that it was a very important album and that Rose and her team were looking forward to its release.
Even on her birthday, TT is never out of her mind. He said whenever he speaks with Calypso Rose she always asks about TT and always sends her blessing for the country especially Tobago.