Arrow a gift to the world says, CARICOM Secretary-General

The Late Alphonsus Cassell (Arrow)

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, His Excellency Edwin Carrington in paying tribute to the late Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell, MBE, has hailed him as a “true Cultural Icon, a gift from Montserrat to the Region and the world.”

The Mighty Arrow, an Internationally acclaimed Soca legend who was best known for his mega hit, Hot Hot Hot died recently at his Lime Kiln home in Montserrat, at the age of 60, after battling with brain cancer for nearly two years. His funeral takes place in Montserrat on Friday 1 October.

In an Note Verbale to the Office of the Chief Minister of Montserrat, Secretary-General Carrington noted that Arrow dedicated his life and passion to the shaping of a rich Caribbean identity through his music, observing that he had left the Community a rich legacy of songs that inspired a deeper understanding and celebration of ourselves and our common destiny as a Caribbean people.

The full text of the Secretary-General’s tribute is as follows:

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) mourns the passing of internationally acclaimed calypsonian, soca artiste and performer Alphonsus Cassell, who was affectionately known to the world as The Mighty Arrow.

Arrow, the pioneering artiste who put soca on the world map with his mega 1983 hit “Hot Hot Hot,” died at his Lime Kiln home on 15 September, 2010 in Montserrat, after a nearly two year courageous battle with brain cancer.

His death at the age of 60 has left a void in the tapestry of Caribbean music and culture and signals the end of an inspiring half century of sterling contribution to this genre of music.

Famous for his high-energy performances and compositions that infused other world beats such as Latin, Zouk and Salsa, Arrow’s contribution was recognized In 1988, when the Living Legends Award was bestowed on him by the organizers of the Caribbean Song Festival.

Hot, Hot, Hot which is easily the biggest selling soca tune in the world to date, not only became an international party favourite which was adopted as the theme song for the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, but also made soca an international language that is germane to a distinctive Caribbean brand.

To the people of the Montserrat, Arrow, who never left his beloved country despite his international acclaim, was ‘King Arrow;’ a business man, mentor and an inspiration to many local musicians and calypsonians; a trail blazing musical ambassador who opened many doors of opportunity for several other Caribbean artistes.

To the Caribbean Community, Arrow was a true Cultural Icon, a gift from Montserrat to the Region and the world. He poured his lifeblood into the shaping of a rich

Caribbean identity through his music, and has left us a rich legacy of songs that not only compel us to sing and dance, but also inspire us to a deeper understanding and celebration of ourselves and our common destiny as Caribbean people. We are the proud inheritors together of the fruits of a life well lived.

The Caribbean Community wishes to express sincere condolences to the family of Alphonsus Cassell, the artistic community, the government and people of Montserrat on the tremendous loss of a great Caribbean artist and champion of Caribbean music. We salute this distinguished Son of our region, whose presence in our midst will be greatly missed.

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