Rose McCartha Linda Sandy Lewis, popularly known as Calypso Rose was born in Bethel, a small village on the beautiful island of Tobago. Rose always had a love for music and knew that performing was what she wanted to do. She started writing Calypso songs aged 13. By the time she was 15 she was performing under the name Crusoe Kid. Her 1st
minor hit was ‘Glass Thief’. It was written after she saw a man stealing glasses from a woman in the market. It was the first Calypso song denouncing inequality between the sexes. This was to be a common theme for many of Rose’s songs in years to come.
In 1963, Rose took her first trip to perform outside of her home islands. She visited Grenada and St. Thomas. Rose performed in and won the ‘Calypso King’ and Roadmarch competitions, with her first recorded song ‘Cooperation.’ Rose became the first woman in history to win the ‘Calypso King’ competition.
In 1966, Rose wrote the iconic anthem, ‘Fire in Me Wire’. This went on to be the first ever Calypso song sung for 2 years at the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. The song was also translated into 8 different languages.
Calypso Rose continued to perfect her craft and by the 70s she had already toured with Bob Marley and the Wailers three times. Bob Marley was also one of her mentors.
In 1970, Rose wrote her first Soca song, ‘Action is tight.’ From 1972-1978, Calypso Rose reigned as the ‘Calypso Queen’ for five years in a row. Rose’s success continued. In 1977 she became the first woman to win the prestigious ‘Roadmarch’ competition in Trinidad & Tobago, with her song ‘Gimme More Tempo.’ Due to Rose wining the ‘Calypso King’ competition so many times, it was renamed ‘Calypso Monarch’, when she won again in 1978. Calypso Rose’s career continued to flourish and she won numerous awards and titles along the way.