Culture Minister Daryl Matthew on Friday led tributes to the late Tyrone King Edimelo Thomas who died suddenly yesterday.
He was 60-years-old.
The former calypso King for Antigua & Barbuda was found face-down at his Bryson’s Complex office yesterday morning.
He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Mount St. John Medical Centre.
In paying tribute to Edimelo Minister Matthew said “If I knew our exchange of WhatsApp messages last night would have been our last conversation, I would have said so many more things.”
He added “you were passionate about the calypso art form, and this was demonstrated by your infectious cultural spirit and the many years of service to our Nation. The support and guidance that you gave to me over the years was invaluable, and for that I am eternally grateful. Your contributions to calypso, culture and the arts will live on forever. We salute you King Edimelo Thomas.”
King Edimelo was an longtime employee of the Public Works department. Permanent Secretary Clarence Pilgrim says the ministry valued Thomas’ contribution and even brought back after retirement to continue to impart his knowledge.
United Progressive Party leader Harold Lovell in paying tribute to the calypso icon said, “the shocking news of the untimely passing of Tyrone “Edimelo” Thomas still hasn’t quite settled in my mind.”
“His affable and jovial manner made him a popular person, naturally. He endeared himself further to his many fans with his melodious and smooth voice and his powerful commentary.
I will always remember his 1994 album which was full of amazing compositions. My favourite was his tribute to Nelson Mandela who had recently been elected President of South Africa. His conscious lyrics gave us pride and made us think more deeply.
Not only was Edimelo a master of phrasing, he certainly knew how to jam. I can still see him coming up in the truck for J’Ouvert doing his ever popular, timeless signature tune, “Jam dem, jam dem, jam dem Vision Band……. jam dem till dem wet, jam dem till dem sweat…..”
With equal ease he could do Frank Sinatra, Bunny Rugs or Lionel Richie. The range of his vocal chords was immense. He could take you from bitter vinegar to sweet wine.
Always neatly dressed and well attired with a “pep in his step”, we will miss him for who he was and for his commitment to the calypso and soca art forms. We have truly lost a cultural icon.
On behalf of the Executive and Members of the UPP, we give God thanks for his life and legacy. To his family, friends and fans we extend our deepest sympathy. May his soul rest in peace,” Lovell said.
King Edimelo won the calypso monarch title in 2006 and again in 2013.
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Edimelo, a true ambassador of the Grays Green community & the nation by extension, had a unique style to display his art form….. He was always a well dressed artist. He had a rich smooth melodious voice that will entertain you from reggae to calypso…. His calypsoes were deep with lyrical content, well compiled and very metaphorical poised causing the minds of his spectators to take time out to unravel his message….. The “Black Rose” was one such song…… Although he was longer a resident of the Gray’s Green community, his heart & pride was always there…. Ever so often he could be seen on blocks with his friends defending Empire FC to the T along with other talents that came from the community…… The sporting & calypso fraternity will greatly miss him…. The void he has left will certainly be unreplaceable. To his family, friends & supporters, I say stay strong…. God is the only one who has the answer as to why he has taken Edimelo so soon……. Perhaps his mission on earth was completed….. Edimelo, you are gone and you will be engraving in the minds of many of us, many years of your art form and your charismatic personality….. A plaque / trophy in his name could be created by the cultural dept for the juniour calypso competition. May his soul rest in Perpetual peace…..
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