Chairman of the National Action Cultural Committee (NACC) Embau Moheni has lauded the tenacity, resilience and perseverance of the late Denyse Plummer.
Moheni said the entertainer who explored all genres of music, from pop to calypso and finally gospel and gospelypso was an outstanding individual who stood the test of time.
Speaking of her journey to get the kind of acceptance in the calypso fraternity, Moheni recalled her initial rejection at her historic debut at Skinner Park and challenges she faced on entering the Young Kings and NWAC Calypso Queen competitions hosted by his organisation.
“She was a fighter. At Skinner Park, the more toilet paper she got, the more resolute she stood. She weathered the storm and fought through it and by the next year, the same Skinner Park crowd loved her.”
Moheni, deputy political leader of the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC), said history will record the singer who lost her battle with cancer on August 27 at age 69, as the one and only female to have been crowned Young King in a three-way tie with Sugar Aloes and the Original de Fosto Himself in 1990.
“She was the first and only woman to win the Young King competition, and by virtue of the fact that women are no longer allowed in that competition, that would remain her legacy.”
He said women were initially allowed in the King’s competition,” because we were concerned about their (women’s) development. We felt they were lagging behind the men and when we were satisfied they were able to hold their own, we discontinued that trend.”
In spite of challenges faced upon entering Young Kings and Queens, he said Plummer persevered and helped to shape the competitions by bringing melody, musicality and an energy which has set the standards for others.
“Denyse really approached competitions with a high sense of professionalism. One of the areas in which she stood out was in costuming and she set a high standard for the other queens to follow.
“She was a great entertainer, always engaging. She took her approach to the stage very seriously and covered all bases from costuming, lyrical content, movement, music, melody. She brought life and liveness and tempo into the Queen’s competition.”
He explained after winning the Queen’s competition for four consecutive years (1988-1991) Plummer bowed out, causing the organisation to set limits for the winners.
Moheni recalled her songs, Together Right Here and La Trinity won best nation building songs in 1989 and 1992 respectively and other hits would have been in their top 20 selections.
“She stands as a calypsonian with the most top 20 awards. The NACC and NWAC are very saddened by her loss. We extended condolences to her family and all her supporters.”
Plummer leaves to mourn her husband Patrick Boocock, her two sons and grandchildren.
She will be laid to rest on September 6, following a funeral service at Queen’s Hall, Port of Spain which is scheduled for 10 am.