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Super is boss

By Miranda La Rose Friday, February 15 2013

click on pic to zoom in

Had three-time Road March queen, Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez and her three-time Soca Monarch husband Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez taken part in this year’s Soca Monarch and Road March competitions, her father, soca king Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons, would have literally “whopped” them.

“We did not step aside to give him a free reign. Truth be told, Super could have whopped all of us. The man would have given us a serious run for the money. Super is a boss,” said Fay-Ann.

Herself a former Soca Monarch, Fay-Ann and Bunji Garlin pulled out of the International Soca Monarch competitions (Power and Groovy) at the semi-final rounds, citing concerns about the terms of the contracts with promoter Caribbean Prestige Foundation.

They, however, had given their blessing to her father, SuperBlue, whose soca spiritual “Fantastic Friday” propelled him on a triumphant comeback after a 13-year hiatus. On Carnival Friday, SuperBlue tied with defending champion Machel Montano at the International Power Soca Monarch final, to record a historic seven wins in this competition. Days later, on Carnival Tuesday, SuperBlue swept away Montano in the Road March race with an overwhelming 511 plays to Montano’s 56 for his song “Float”, the largest margin of victory in recent times, to claim his ninth Road March crown.

Her father’s victories are victories for the whole family, Fay-Ann told Newsday.

“We are family. Super is my dad. Bunji is his son-in-law. A win for Super is a win for the family. A win for us is a win for Super,” she said.

SuperBlue is the father of five children and five grandchildren. Another of his daughters Terri Lyons is a double threat as a soca and calypso artiste. For all of the 13 years that SuperBlue was off the soca scene, Fay-Ann said she and her family, “made it our career and life’s decision to help keep his name and his legacy alive.”

“God forbid if he is to go today or tomorrow, his name has to carry on. The legacy that SuperBlue created cannot die. Not on my watch,” she declared.

In 2009, Fay Ann dedicated her hit “Meet SuperBlue” to her father. That same year she swept the crowns at stake in the Power, Groovy and People’s Choice Awards at the International Soca Monarch finals, as well as the Road March. She was the first woman to accomplish that feat and did it during a full term pregnancy. This year, she once again paid tribute to her father in her power soca “De Stage Open.”

His victorious comeback, she said, was “God’s work”.

“Many had written him off, as somebody who could not possibly come back. For God to bring him back from the depths of despair, and to put him where he is now,” she said, “shows us that when God is with you, people can say what it is they want.”

Nevertheless, SuperBlue’s victory, she said, “was good for him, for the public, the artform and the soca industry. His was really a wake up call for the old and young generations.”

“We cannot have generations passing and not see (the Mighty) Sparrow (Slinger Frascisco) — who Super has a healthy respect for — and (Black) Stalin (Leroy Calliste) performing while they are still with us,” she said. “They need to know who were responsible for the solid foundation they are standing on.”

Noting that in yesterday’s Newsday that her father paid tribute to a number of persons who helped him back on his journey to the soca kingdom, Fay-Ann said Gregory Fernandes and Charles Ollivierre have been in his camp as friends and colleagues for many years, and were now part of his management team.

“People in the entertainment industry,” she said, “know how hard it is to find good managers, people take advantage of you and misuse your talents for their own gain and fame.”

Among the few who had the belief that SuperBlue could return to the stage, she said was Denise Belfon (Saucy Wow) who interacted with him at the musical level, and comedian/television producer Errol Fabien, who had “many tribulations of his own” and was a good mentor to SuperBlue.

Acknowledging to his fans that SuperBlue had personal issues to overcome, Fay Ann said, “Sometimes God gives you second chances in life whether it be personal or professional. I think this was Dad’s second chance in both.”

“I want to thank people for seeing the human side of him. A lot of time people think that celebrities are gods, they don’t make mistakes, and they don’t falter. They have the same emotional needs and wants like you. At the end of the day it is not what gets you down, but what motivates you to get back up. To see his fans motivated by him and supporting him again, is marvelous.”

Noting that the older generation and now the younger ones could experience her father’s music, she said, she has met adults who told their teenage children, “You all think Bunji bad? You all think Machel bad? Super was the man.”

The children would actually mock them. “For Super to come back now and do what their parents had been telling them, what he did in the past,” she said, “is like a redemption for them.”

At present, she said, “Fifteen and 16-year-olds are coming and saying to me, ‘I didn’t know your Pops was so talented. My mom used to be raving about him’.”

It was good to see an artiste of SuperBlue’s calibre, she said, “actually uniting parents and children in a household via music.”

Asked about her relationship with SuperBlue, Fay-Ann said, “We didn’t grow up as father and daughter. The artiste side always took precedence in our interaction as father and daughter. The first major relationship we had was from an artistic standpoint.”

This might have been so, she said, “because I respect him so much as an artiste, his talent, his creative side and ability to write, and partly because he put music at the forefront of his life.”

She added, “I now appreciate that part of him that I did get to experience, and I think the public should understand that there was a bigger picture.” That bigger picture, she said, “is his contribution to so many different people. The many lives he has touched has made me understand why he was not in the picture like a regular dad.”

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