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According to the Brooklyn-based Trinidad and Tobago Weekly, Calypso King Sparrow took a break from therapy over the Christmas holiday, at the High Land Health Care Center in Queens, New York, and “spoke for a long time and even sang”. The 78 year-old singer who was born Slinger Francisco, has performed for over four decades, winning Trinidad's Carnival Road March competition eight times, Calypso King/Monarch eight times, and has twice won the Calypso King of Kings title.

He has long had a link with Jamaica through his friend, Byron Lee. In 1968 he recorded the album Sparrow Meets the Dragon with Byron Lee in Jamaica. Their version of "Only a Fool Breaks His Own Heart" gave them an international hit, earning a gold disc in the Netherlands. In the latter half of the 1960s his recordings began to be released in the United Kingdom. He had his greatest success internationally in the 1970s, starting with the album The Best Of, featuring live recordings in Brooklyn, New York of Sparrow favorites. In 1974 he recorded the album Hot and Sweet for Warner Bros. in Miami, and the following year reunited with Byron Lee for the Sparrow Dragon Again album. He had a big hit in 1977 with "Crawford", a tribute to sprinter Hasley Crawford, and that year embarked on a tour of west Africa, during which he was given the honorary Yoruba title Chief Omo Wale of Ikoyi. He even made an appearance at the Reggae Sunsplash festival in 1993. Sparrow has been hospitalised for the past three months after going into a coma on September 22.
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