The Mighty Sparrow, Slinger Francisco, the calypso king of the world, is back in action. On Jan. 18, he entertained hundreds at a function held in his honour at the Melanie’s Sports Bar in Brooklyn. Though he has been in a therapy centre recuperating following his diabetic coma in September, he was given special permission to attend Saturday night’s show.

It was rumoured that the world-class entertainer had died in September, which prompted scores of messages to recognised media outlets, including The New York Times, as well as the British and Caribbean press.

It is not the first time there had been false rumours about the demise of the 78-year-old Grenada-born entertainer, who received the highest award for a Caribbean national, the Order of the Caribbean Community. He also received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of the West Indies.

On Jan. 18 Sparrow braved the bitter cold and windy weather to attend the Brooklyn show, which was organised by Derek Parsons of WACK Radio and Calypso Rose, who missed her brother’s funeral in Trinidad to officiate. The ailing icon sat on a high stool while he belted out some of his old hits.

He started by singing the Lord’s Prayer and burst into tears when the crowd started to chant. After he composed himself, he dished out a few of his favourites: “Melda,” “Conga Man,” “Drunk and Disorderly,” “Lying Excuses,” and so on.

Sparrow was crowned Calypso King of Trinidad and Tobago on eight occasions and won the road march title nine times.

Among those who attended were Ian D Goose, Frankie McIntosh, DJ Maddy, Charlie and others.

His doctors have issued a call to his fans not to offer alcoholic beverage to him since it would be detrimental, and his close relatives and friends have been advised to keep his fans at bay so that he can recuperate slowly. He is well on the road to full recovery, and it is hopeful that the Birdie will once again be on the stage to entertain the world.