Former Calypso Monarch of Guyana, Malcom “Lord Canary,” Corrica, passed away on Monday afternoon at the Diamond Hospital, where he was recovering from a stroke.
Corrica had served as a Minister of Culture and Member of Parliament under the Forbes Burnham PNC government, but it was his infectious calypso pieces that got all of the attention in Guyana and the Caribbean.
Some of his best known pieces included “Cockle”, “Dr. Beckles”, “Wicket Cricket and “Tribute to woman”. He was last crowned Guyana Calypso Monarch in 2006.
News of his passing came as a shock to many in the cultural community.
Although he was 79-years-old and had lost a leg to diabetes, he still paid attention to what was happening in the country, according to a relative.
In February this year, a biography of his life was launched. It was written by Allan Fenty. He was described at the launching as one of Guyana’s unsung heroes.
During a 2014 interview with the Kaieteur News, Lord Canary said Calypso was his first true love and one of his greatest moments was beating Calypso King, The Mighty Sparrow in a Caribbean competition.
“I always tried my singing talents in the church and the people were always impressed. They complimented me a lot about my voice. But going to school in the days when only radio was most prevalent, I heard a kind of music that stirred me. It was calypso and I fell in love with it.”, he said.