PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Calypsonian David Rudder Friday confirmed that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as he prepares for a significant show next month to mark his 70th birthday.
The Canada-based Rudder, regarded as one of the most successful calypsonians of all time, with several hits, including the anthem for the West Indies Cricket team, told a news conference that the show on May 6 would be titled “Come and Celebrate,” a line from one of his tunes.
He told reporters that following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the loss of several loved ones, he underwent a health examination and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
“First thing I did was to do some tests and check myself, and I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. So with that, I said, you know what, this concert may not be my last. I will keep playing but no more marathon four hours long shows.
“But it brought me into a kind of space where I had to focus on me for the first time,” Rudder said, adding, “I am ready to deal with this new reality.”
He also intends to publish and record some new material, including a tune on the British Windrush Generation.
Windrush Generation denotes the people who emigrated from the Caribbean to Britain between the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush on June 22, 1948, and the Immigration Act of 1971, including the passengers on the first ship.
Asked by reporters to describe his career, Rudder, whose tunes include “Haiti, I am Sorry, the Ganges and the Nile and Trini to De Bone, said he had no regrets.
“If I have to do it again, I want that same journey,” said Rudder, who received The Order of the Caribbean Community last August. (OCC) which represents the highest award in the region.
The award holders are allowed free movement among the 15-member CARICOM grouping. They are issued with a travel document that is assigned similar status to a diplomatic passport.