Books & Music

This 78-Year-Old Is The Oldest Performer At Coachella

She's an inspiration!

Calypso Rose is living proof that you’re never too old to play Coachella.

Rose, 78, made history this year as the music festival’s oldest performer in its history as well as its first calypsonian booked for a full set.

Her Tobagonian vibes wowed the young crowd at her 45-minute performance last weekend. Before she takes the stage again on April 19, here’s what you should know about the star.

1. Calypso Is A Genre Of Music, Not Her Real Name

Calypso Rose was born Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis in a small village on the Caribbean island of Tobago on April 27, 1940. Calypso, also called Kaiso, is a political song form that originated when Trinidad was colonized. It’s now linked to the celebrations around Carnival.

Her pseudonym originally was Crusoe Kid, but she later was dubbed Calypso Rose and has kept the name since.

Loic Vernance/AFP/Getty Images

2. She’s Been Making History Way Before Coachella

Rose has earned several firsts during her 64-year career.

She was the first woman to win Trinidad’s prestigious “Road March” competition. When she became the first woman to win the Calypso King Competition in 1978, the competition’s name was changed to Calypso Monarch.

Seriously, her list of firsts could go on for a while.

Calypso Rose photo
Getty Images | Rich Fury

3. She’s A Women’s Rights Activist

Without Rose’s contributions, women in calypso would not be able to have some of the musical freedom they have today.

Rose has written more than 800 songs and is known for bucking tradition by infusing her music with messages about domestic violence and equality.

She wrote her first song “Glass Thief” when she was 15 years old after she saw a man steal a pair of glasses from a woman.

“I am happy to know that I have opened the doors for a lot of female Calypso women.” she said in an interview with Coachella.

Matthew Alexandre/Getty Images

4. She’s Dropping A New Album Soon

Rose released her new music video “Young Boy” ahead of her Coachella debut.

Her website says her next album is in the works.

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Written by Kendall Trammell for CNN.

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