Mighty Gabby

(BROOKLYN, New York): CARIBBEAN TIMES NEWS has learned that Barbado’s Cultural Ambassador and Calypso Maestro, the Mighty Gabby, 70, has been hospitalized. Gabby, whose real name is Anthony Carter, confirmed in a message on social media that he has been hospitalized at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“When all the tests and so on is done, you will know what happened to me,” the message reads. “Please do not panic. I am confident that I will be fine.” He also expressed thanks for all the well wishes from family, friends and his fans. The message, dated December 14, was signed by Dr. Anthony Gabby Carter.

Anthony Carter (born 30 March 1948), better known as Mighty Gabby or simply Gabby, is a a pioneering Barbadian and Caribbean calypsonian and folk singer.   Born in Emmerton, Barbados, Carter was given the nickname “Gabby” as a child, and first had success as a calypsonian in 1968, when his “Heart Transplant” won him the title of Barbados Calypso Monarch. He won the title again in 1969 with “Family Planning”, but rather than build on this successes, he instead concentrated on acting for the next few years, joining the Barbados Theater Workshop and composing much of the music for its play Under the Duppy Parasol, which also had a successful run in New York city.

He returned to music, and carnival success, in 1976, his “Licks Like Fire” giving him the first of a string of victories at Crop Over. He was awarded the ‘Folk Singer of the Year’ for three successive years from 1977 to 1979 for “Riots in the Land”, “Bridgetown”, and “Bajan Fisherman.” In 1979 he won the Crop Over Road March title with “Burn Mr. Harding”, and went on to tour Cuba.

Gabby courted controversy in 1985 with “Cadavers”, a biting social commentary on the Barbados government’s decision to allow dead bodies from the US to be stored on the island; He was sued by the government, but Prime Minister Tom Adams died before the case came to court, and the plan was subsequently scrapped. He continued to produce controversial material, including “The List”, which dealt with AIDS, “Jack” which criticized the local tourist industry for giving preferential treatment to foreign visitors, and “Boots”, an attack on the government’s assistance in the US invasion 1983 of Grenada.

He won the Calypso Monarch title for a third time in 1985 with “West Indian Politician.” In the late 1980s he began an association with singer and producer Eddy Grant, who owned the Blue Wave studio, helping to break through to a wider audience.  He won the Calypso Monarch title on four more occasions, in 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2010.In 2004 he was named Cultural Ambassador of Barbados. In November 2011 The Mighty Gabby was one of many Barbadian entertainers shown on the “Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?” segment on NBC.

In 2012 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the University of the West Indies. Gabby was named a Nigerian chief in 2007 in a service at the Sons of God Apostolic Spiritual Baptist Church in Ealing Grove, Christchurch, Barbados. Gabby, who had recently visited Nigeria, was given the name Omowale, which means “our son has returned”. The service was also to coincide with the United Nations designated Black Civilization Day.. Gabby is regarded as the “foremost folk singer in Barbados.” The Management and Staff of Caribbean Times wish the Mighty Gabby a speedy recovery.

Titles:

• Calypso Monarch: 1968, 1969,

1985, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2010

• Crop Over: 1976, 1977, 1985

• Folk Singer of the Year: 1977, 1978, 1979

• Crop Over Road March: 1979, 1982

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