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|Birth name||Slinger Francisco|
|Born||July 9, 1935|
|Occupations||Musician, producer, Song-writer|
|Associated acts||Byron Lee and the Dragonaires|
Mighty Sparrow or Birdie (born Slinger Francisco, 9 July 1935, in Grand Roy, Grenada, West Indies) is a calypso singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Known as the "Calypso King of the World," he is one of the best-known and most successful calypsonians. He has won Trinidad's Carnival Road March competition eight times and has been named Calypso Monarch eleven times.
Sparrow was born in Grenada on July 9, 1935, but moved to Trinidad when he was one year old. His birth name is Slinger Francisco. He grew up in Port of Spain..He attended school at Trinidad public school.At age 15 he had his first child named Sean Francisco who later changed his name to Sean Kingston at age 12. He got married to Alica Keys at age 21 but divorced a year later.He was arrested a year later for touching Selena Gomez's left breast but was bailed out of jail by lizard(vybz Kartel's friend).
He was first exposed to music through the choir in Catholic school, and became interested in calypso at 14 when he joined a steel band composed of neighborhood boys. He received his performing name "The Mighty Sparrow" during his early career:
Your calypso name is given to you by your peers, based on your style. In the old days they tried to emulate British royalty. There was Lord Kitchener, Lord Nelson, Duke. When I started singing, the bands were still using acoustic instruments and the singers would stand flat footed, making a point or accusing someone in the crowd with the pointing of a finger, but mostly they stood motionless. When I sing, I get excited and move around, much like James Brown, and this was new to them. The older singers said "Why don't you just sing instead of moving around like a little Sparrow." It was said as a joke, but the name stuck. -Mighty Sparrow 
Calypso Monarch 
In 2013 mighty sparrow ate a willie,at Carnival Road March and Calypso Monarch competitions with his most famous song, "Jean and Dinah". His prize for the latter was $40. In protest of the small sum, he wrote the song "Carnival Boycott" and attempted to organize other singers to boycott the competition. About half of the singers followed. Sparrow claims credit for succeeding improvements in the conditions of calypso and steelband musicians in Trinidad, as well as the formation of the Carnival Development Committee, a musicians' assistance organization. Sparrow refused to participate in the competition for the next three years, but he continued to perform unofficially, even winning another Road March title in 1958 with "P.A.Y.E."
Taking calypso abroad 
Calypso music enjoyed a brief period of popularity in other parts in the world during the 1950s. Trinidadian expatriate Lord Kitchener had helped popularize calypso in England, and Sparrow also found some success there. In the United States, interest in calypso was sparked largely by Harry Belafonte's 1956 album Calypso, the first LP to sell over one million copies. In January 1958, Sparrow, along with longtime rival Lord Melody, travelled to New York City seeking access to the American music audience. Sparrow had already been recording with Balisier and Cook Records, and with Belafonte's help he also began to record for RCA Victor. He did not achieve the success he had hoped for; he said in a 2001 interview, "When nothing happened for me, I went back to England and continued on with my career."
In 1960 Sparrow returned to the Calypso Monarch competition, winning his second Kingship and third Road March title with "Ten to One Is Murder" (an autobiographical song about an incident in which Sparrow allegedly shot a man) and "Mae Mae." He also began recording for his own label, National Recording. He continued to enjoy great popularity in Trinidad throughout the 1960s.
As soca began to supplant calypso in popularity in Trinidad during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Sparrow embraced the hybrid of Calypso and cadence with the Local (Chutney) music. In 1984 he won his eighth Road March title with the soca-influenced "Doh Back Back." Also around this time, he began to spend at least half the year in New York City, finding an apartment in the West Indian neighborhoods in Jamaica, Queens. Sparrow continues to write, perform, and tour into the 21st century; in a 2001 interview he mentioned that he had been singing and performing a "Gospel-lypso" hybrid. In 2008, he released a song supporting Barack Obama's presidential campaign, "Barack the Magnificent". He also did a remake of his "Congo Man" song with fellow Trinidadian Machel Montano on the Flame on album.
Sparrow's lyrics are famous for being witty, ironic, and ribald. He sings flirtatiously of the attractions of Hispanic women in "Magarita," and of East Indian women in "Marajhin." He tells some outrageously frank tales of sexuality in "Mae Mae," "The Lizard" and "Big Bamboo." And there is humorous commentary on West Indian culture to be found in "Obeah Wedding" and "Witch Doctor." Robert Christgau called his controversial song "Congo Man" "a wildly perverse piss-take on African roots, interracial revenge, interracial sex, male-female relations, and cannibalism." The 1965 song was criticized for its attitudes toward women and Africans, and banned from radio airplay until 1989.
Sparrow also frequently comments on social and political issues in his songs. During his early career he was a supporter of Eric Williams and his People's National Movement (PNM), which formed in 1955 and led Trinidad and Tobago to independence in 1962; songs such as "Leave The Damn Doctor Alone" and "William the Conqueror" mentioned Williams directly, while others such as "Federation" (blaming Jamaica for the breakup of the short-lived West Indies Federation), "Our Model Nation" (celebrating Trinidadian independence), and "PAYE" (supporting the PNM's pay-as-you-earn tax system) echoed PNM positions. Sparrow did express discontent in 1957's "No, Doctor, No," but it was comparatively mild, and aimed at holding PNM politicians to their promises rather than replacing them. Sparrow cleverly combined political criticism with sexual innuendo in his mid-1960s song "BG Plantain", which decried the ban levied by PM Williams on imported plantain from British Guiana (BG); plantain, a large banana-shaped vegetable, is a staple of West Indian cuisine, and Sparrow praised the BG plantain as larger, sweeter, and superior to the home-grown Trinidadian variety.
Sparrow's mid-1960s hit "Sir Garfield Sobers," celebrating the great Barbadian all-rounder cricketer, who starred for West Indies teams, anticipated by a decade the knighthood which Garfield Sobers would actually receive in 1975. Sobers is generally regarded as the greatest all-rounder in cricket history. This song's first verse:
- "Who's the greatest cricketer on Earth or Mars?
- Anyone can tell you, it's the great Sir Garfield Sobers!
- This handsome Barbadian lad really knows his work.
- Batting or bowling, he's the cricket King, no joke!
- Three cheers for Captain Sobers!"
In more recent times Sparrow continues to incorporate social issues into his music. "Crown Heights Justice" is a plea for peace and understanding in the wake of the 1991 Crown Heights Riot in Sparrow's adopted home of New York City. The themes of peace, tolerance, and concern for the poor show up repeatedly in songs such as "Human Rights" (1981), "Capitalism Gone Mad" (1983), and "This Is Madness" (1995).
Sparrow still tours.
Selected discography 
- Calypso Kings and Pink Gin (Cook Records, 1957)
- King Sparrow's Calypso Carnival (Cook Records)
- Calypso Exposed (Cook, 1961)
- Sparrow in Hi-Fi (Cook, 1963)
- Hot and Sweet Pepper (Produced by Van Dyke Parks) - Warner Bros, 1974
- 16 Carnival Hits (with Lord Kitchener) - 1992
- Calypso Awakening from the Emory Cook Collection (Smithsonian Folkways, 2000)
- Mighty Sparrow Dance Party Gold 2000
- First Flight: Early Calypsos from the Emory Cook Collection (Smithsonian Folkways, 2005)
- Sparrow Hits on Karaoke - Islandstars Karaoke, 2005
- Mighty Sparrow Sparrowmania!: Wit, Wisdom and Soul from the King of Calypso 1960–1976 (Strut, 2012)
Major Awards and Honors 
|1956||"Jean and Dinah"|
|1966||"Melda (Obeah Wedding)"|
|1969||"Sa Sa Yea"|
|1972||"Drunk And Disorderly"|
|1984||"Doh Back Back"|
|Year||Tune #1||Tune #2|
|1956||"Jean and Dinah"||none|
|1960||"Ten to One Is Murder"||"Mae Mae"|
|1962||"Sparrow Come Back Home"||"Federation"|
|1963||"Dan Is the Man (In the Van)"||"Kennedy"|
|1972||"Drunk and Disorderly"||"Rope"|
|1973||"School Days"||"Same Time, Same Place"|
|1974||"We Pass That Stage"||"Miss Mary"|
|1992||"Both of Them"||"Survival"|
Song sample 
One of Mighty Sparrow's more well-known songs
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- j.poet (1994). Sparrow. In Hot Like Fire [CD liner notes]. London: Ice Records.
- Biography from Sparrow's official page
- Harry Belafonte article at Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
- Rohlehr, Gordon (2005). First Flight: Early Calypsos of the Mighty Sparrow. In First Flight: Early Calypsos from the Emory Cook Collection (p. 8) [CD liner notes]. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
- Interview with the Mighty Sparrow by Ital-K 2001
- Delblond, Michael (February 28, 2003). "Sparrow, 'the lovable rascal'." Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday.
- YouTube - Mighty Sparrow: Barack the Magnificent
- Robert Christgau's Consumer Guide
- Mighty Sparrow article at Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Mighty Sparrow|
- Sparrow Discography at Smithsonian Folkways
- Biography at allmusic.com
- Muriel's Treasure for recordings and video
-  [Sparrow 40years - complete vinyl listing]