Soca king Mighty Arrow dies

Known to many as the Soca King, the
Mighty Arrow died at his home in Monsteratt on 15 September after a year-long
battle with cancer.

Arrow, whose real name was Alphonsus
Cassell, was 60.

Phonzie, as he was referred to by
close friends and family, was responsible for taking the soca genre to the
international level with his 1982 phenomenon of a song, Hot, Hot, Hot.

The Mighty Arrow was also the
Montseratt calypso competition winner on four occasions and as a result, the
singers’s talents were recognised by former Beatles Manager Sir George Martin,
who worked with Arrow to turn his focus to recording and touring, according to
a statement from the Montserrat government.

The artist would go on to record no
less than 22 studio albums, which included other notable hits, including Long
Time, Dancing Mood, O’La Soca and Groove Master. He also performed at concerts,
music festivals and gala events across the globe.

“His death is a great loss to the
family, his native land of Montserrat and the music world,” said Arrow’s
brother Justin “Hero” Cassell, who also worked with his brother as a vocalist
and songwriter.

Montserrat’s chief minister, Reuben
Meade, said, “Arrow’s passing is a national loss of a cultural institution and
a national icon, who was generous, kind and the embodiment of an enduring and
unmoving love for humanity.

“Arrow was an entertainer who
shared with his people and the world life’s lessons of securing triumph over
challenges and opportunity over loss. He will live on in the hearts of all
Montserratians.

A statement from the Caribbean
Tourism Organization read, “He was always willing to assist whenever we called
upon him and we will forever remember his last public appearance for us when he
rocked to life the CTO’s Street Party at World Travel Market in London a few
short years ago with his customary high energy performance. Arrow will be
sorely missed but his memory will live on.”

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