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King Swallow (Sir Rupert Philo)

Antiguan Calypsonian King Swallow passes away at the age of 78


One of Antigua and Barbuda’s best-known calypsonians King Swallow (Sir Rupert Philo) has died at the age of 78. He had been ill for some time and passed away surrounded by family on Friday 11 September, at his home in Willikies.

Born in Willikies on 14 February 1942, Swallow gained his soubriquet at school where he used to sing in class. He first competed in 1961 with his song Raphael Trujillo, credited by former prime minister the Hon Lester Bryant Bird as marking “the birth of the political calypso in Antigua”.

Rupert Philo was awarded the Order of Merit (Gold) and the Grand Cross of Princely Heritage, and in 2011 PM Bird recognised his 50 years of artistry and excellence by nominating him to be honoured with a knighthood.

He has had many hits over his long career some of which include Fire In The Back Seat, I Want To Wine On Something and Subway Jam.

Soca News sends its condolences to the family and friends of King Swallow (Sir Rupert Philo); we have lost another great one.