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Even before he was halfway through with “Learn From Arithmetic”, the consensus among patrons seated in the Grand Stand of the Queen's Park Savannah was that Chalkdust (Hollis Liverpool) would be the 2017 National Calypso Monarch.
Chalkdust was last in the line-up of 17 finalists of the night's competition in the Dimanche Gras and his delivery was so well executed, there really was little doubt that he was the one to beat.
With this victory Chalkdust has broken the Mighty Sparrow's (Slinger Francisco) and his own record of eight National Calypso Monarch titles. Sparrow achieved his eighth victory in 1992 with “Both Of Dem” and “Survival”.
Chalkdust equalled the record in 2009 with “My Heart And I”, after which some people asked him to retire from competition out of respect for Sparrow. This year marks Chalkdust's 50th year in the calypso arena, having stepped on to the stage as a professional for the first time in 1967. His first National Monarch title came in 1976 with “No Smut For Me” and “Ah Put on Meh Guns Again”. He retained the title the following year.