Memorable moments in entertainment over the last decade
In 2011, Anya Ayoung Chee won project Runway, one of the most memorable moments in entertainment in the last decade in T&T
There is never a dull moment in Trinidad and Tobago when it comes to culture and entertainment. In Carnival and out, there is always something going on whether it is exciting, hilarious, baffling or tragic. Here are some memorable moments that we just can’t forget.
Two radio hosts win Soca Monarch and Road March
The year was 2010. Soca King Machel Montano was absent from Carnival and everyone was looking expectantly at other established acts to fill the void. Then from far left, Jason Williams and Ancil Isaac, two radio hosts known popularly as JW and Blaze, swept in with a catchy song, dance and fun video and took the whole Carnival by storm. Palance was THE song of 2010 and even caught the attention of Beyonce who did the dance when she performed in T&T just after Carnival.
Beyonce came to T&T
In 2010, the Trini Beyhive went into full gear for the most epic concert to be held on these shores in recent memory. Held mere weeks after Carnival, the concert drew fans of all ages from all over the world to hear Queen Bey as she wrapped up her South American tour.
Gridlock for the Flugtag
In July 2011, the Red Bull Flugtag came to T&T. This is an event in which competitors attempt to fly home-made, human-powered flying machines off a pier into the sea or body of water. The event was held in Chaguaramas and all of T&T wanted in on the action. Some people camped in Chaguaramas overnight to ensure they got a good view but on the morning of the event, those who did not, created gridlock traffic as far as St James. Those with boats and other seacraft sailed to the Western peninsula to take in the action. One young man, Nicholas Simmons, 14, drowned when the overcrowded pirogue he was in sank.
Anya wins Project Runway
It was a night many of us will never forget. On October 27, 2011, our very own Anya Ayoung Chee was announced the winner of Project Runway. Ayoung Chee also won fan favourite on Twitter, thanks to Trinbagonians who spent the Divali holiday that year voting online for her to win.
Bunji breaks through with Differentology
In 2012, fresh off a season when he delivered hit after hit, Bunji dropped one of the biggest songs of his career, Differentology. A production by Sheriff, the song endured past Carnival and leapt onto America’s urban stations. Differentology was played at NBA games and up to this year was the song of choice for Jagmeet Singh, a Canadian politician who was contesting the General Elections. The song earned Bunji a Soul Train Music Award for Best International Performance.
Nicki Minaj films video in T&T
In 2012, Nicki Minaj, who was born in T&T, headed back home to film the video for her single Pound the Alarm. The Carnival-themed production saw cameos from Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons.
Finding Red Man
In 2013, a freak storm ripped off roofs in Cunupia. In the aftermath, a video surfaced of friends frantically scrambling to escape all the while bawling for Red Man to join them. He never did and they left him behind. The video went viral spawning a number of memes and making the 7 pm news as the whole nation wondered what happened to Red Man. Turns out Red Man, real name Matthew, was hiding under some stairs in fear.
Superblue takes the Road March
In his heyday, Superblue ruled the road with songs such as ‘Bacchanal Time’, ‘Jab Jab’ and ‘Signal to Lara’. After years out of the limelight, Superblue, real name Austin Lyons’ returned with force in 2013 with ‘Fantastic Friday’, exciting old fans and a new generation as he ran away with the Road March title. He also tied for first place at the International Soca Monarch with Machel Montano.
The Harlem Shake takes T&T
Never the kind of people to shy away from trends, Trinbagonians jumped on the worldwide trend of doing the Harlem Shake in 2013. The Harlem Shake saw people filming themselves dancing to a short excerpt of the song Harlem Shake and uploading it to social media platforms. Corporate T&T, media houses, party and community groups and practically everyone all over the country joined in the fray dressed in hilarious costumes.
Voice takes Soca Monarch title
In 2014, the International Soca Monarch saw a changing of the guard as most of the veteran artistes opted not to compete. The competitors were mostly new faces on the soca scene, the favourite among them being Aaron ‘Voice’ St Louis whose ‘Cheers to Life’ became the anthem of the season. He was crowned the winner when the dust settled, the youngest ever to top the competition and wrote his name into the history books. Voice would go on to do the three-peat with wins in 2017 and 2018 but retired from the competition in 2019.
Glambition hits local TV
If you ever wondered how the term “visa-face’ was popularised in T&T, then look no further than the docu-drama Glambition. The brainchild of Trini sisters Kara Barnett and her sister Jeanine, Glambition was set around the lives of five ambitious career women: Sarah Jane Waddell, Bianca Golden, Leah Marville, Lori Antoinette and Isoke Edwards.
Beauty queen sues
In recent years the Miss World and Miss Universe franchises have been dogged with controversy but none bigger than in 2015 when Miss World/TT Kimberly Farrah Singh sued the local franchise holder to reinstate her after she was dethroned for breaching the rules. Arbitrator Ernest Koylass S.C., ruled that while Singh did in fact breach specific terms of the beauty pageant agreement, such breaches were not fundamental enough to warrant her termination as Miss World/TT. Singh subsequently travelled to Sanya, China to compete but ran into problems when she was left stranded in China with no money to pay for her luggage to return home.
Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin bury the axe
After appeals from fans and some back and forth on social media, two of soca’s heavyweights decided to bury the axe and demonstrate unity in soca in 2013. Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin’s song ‘Busshead’ saw the artistes performing together at fetes across the country, at Machel Monday and hosting a pop-up talk to discuss the importance of the song in educating people about our stick fighting culture and history.
Raze video razed
Fay Ann Lyon’s Raze was a big hit in 2017 so there was widespread interest in the video that would accompany the song when she signed with VP Records. Instead of Carnival scenes, however, the video showed Lyons alone dancing in snowy woods which confused many people who labelled the effort as boring and disappointing.
Calypso Rose shows age is just a number
In 2017, Calypso Rose was the biggest Trinidadian act in calypso and soca in the world. She had a new album, Far From Home, and was touring Europe. Her work did not go unnoticed as she won the Victoire de la Musique award (the French equivalent of a Grammy) for World Music Album of the Year for the album.
Devon Matthews dies
Hours after filming his video for The Journey, his collaboration with Ella Andall, Devon Matthews collapsed and died backstage at Tribe's band launch from a heart attack in 2017. The popular singer and radio DJ was enjoying his best Carnival ever at the time of his death, which plunged the entertainment industry into shock.
Death of the icons
2018 proved to be a sad year, one in which culture lost a number of its legends. Ace pan arranger Ken Professor Philmore, Shadow, Defosto and Lord Superior all passed away leaving a void in the cultural landscape.
Ola on X Factor
In 2018, Olatunji Yearwood helped to push soca in the mainstream when he appeared on the popular UK talent show X Factor. Though he wowed the judges with his energy, showmanship and music, the former Groovy Soca Monarch didn’t make it past the live rounds
Tobago boy stars in Black Panther
Tobago-born actor Winston Duke had the ladies swooning as M’Baku in the Black Panther movie in 2018. Since then Duke has starred in Jordan Peele movie Us and Avengers.