Trinidad Carnival 2017 – Mighty Chalkdust makes history – wins 9th Calypso title + video

Trinidad Carnival 2017 – Mighty Chalkdust makes history

By Azad Ali – March 2, 2017 – Caribbean Life News

Veteran calypsonian the Mighty Chalkdust (Dr. Hollis Liverpool) created history when he beat 17 finalists to win the 2017 Calypso Monarch title for the ninth time at the Dimanche Gras show on Carnival Sunday night- breaking Sparrow’s (Slinger Francisco) record of eight National Calypso Monarch titles.

Sparrow achieved his eight victory in 1992, with “Both of Dem” and “Survival.” Chalkdust equaled the record in 2009 with “My Heart and I.”

This year marked, Chalkdust 50th year in the calypso arena, having started singing as a professional in 1967.  

He won his first National Monarch title in 1976 with “No Smut For Me” and “Ah Put on Meh Guns Again.” He retained the title the following year.

Chalkdust was awarded T&T’s Humming Bird Medal (Silver) at the Independence Awards in 1976 for his contribution to calypso.

He is recognized as a historian and researcher.  Chalkdust,  holds a Ph.D. in history and ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan, is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of the Virgin Islands, and frequently lectures and offers workshops on the history and culture of calypso music. He is the author of the books Rituals of Power and Rebellion: The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad and Tobago, 1763-1962 (published in 2001) and From the Horse’s Mouth, a socio-cultural history of calypso from 1900 to 2003. [Wikipedia]

Commenting on his victory Chalkdust said the victory was doubly significant as it coincided with his 50th year in the art form.

This year the finalists in the Calypso Monarch competition were only allowed to sing one song, unlike in the past when they had to sing two songs

Chalkdust dethroned Devon Seales, the 2016 Calypso Monarch, who placed sixth. Second place went to Karen Asche, who performed “Caught in a Whirlwind” and in third position was Heather McIntosh who sang “Games.”

Chalkdust took the title with “Learn From Arithmetic” — a well-crafted composition of the Child Marriage Act that the government passed in Parliament recently.  The hook line of the song is “75 can’t go into 14.”

More on CHALKDUST from Wikipedia –


Mighty Chalkdust (Dr Hollis Liverpool)—“Learn From Arithmetic” | Dimanche Gras 2017


Winston “Gypsy” Peters took the Extempo title from eight other competitors at the National Association for the Performance Arts (NAPA) last Thursday night.

The former culture minister under Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration has now won the title on 10 occasions.

In the other major competitions reigning International Soca Monarch, Aaron “Voice” St. Louis regained his title on Fantastic Friday at the Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

“Voice” was followed by Orlando Octave in second place; Devon Matthews in third spot and Iwer George fourth.

In the Panorama competition on Saturday night Massy All Stars took the National Steelband finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah playing “We Jammin Still” in a fiery performance.

Placing second was Desperadoes and third BP Renegades. It was the band’s 10th title.

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