Family, friends mourn calypsonian “Whadablee” | News | – Virgin Islands Daily News

Please purchase a subscription to read our premium content. If you have a subscription, please log in or sign up for an account on our website to continue.
Please log in, or sign up for a new account to continue reading.
Thank you for reading! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
Welcome! We hope that you enjoy our free content.
Thank you for reading! On your next view you will be asked to log in to your subscriber account or create an account and subscribepurchase a subscription to continue reading.
Thank you for reading! On your next view you will be asked to log in to your subscriber account or create an account and subscribepurchase a subscription to continue reading.
Thank you for signing in! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
A few clouds early, otherwise mostly sunny. High 82F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph..
Mainly clear skies. Low near 75F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.
Updated: December 11, 2022 @ 12:56 am
Five-time Calypso Monarch St. Clair Alphonso “Whadablee” DeSilvia

Five-time Calypso Monarch St. Clair Alphonso “Whadablee” DeSilvia
ST. THOMAS — The five-time calypso king St. Clair Alphonso “Whadablee” DeSilvia died on Saturday at 63-year-old, but what prevails is his legacy as a father, husband, and indeed his infectious voice that could round the notes of a melody and delight a multitude with his soulful performances on countless stages.
It is music that Whadablee’s son Khamoi DeSilvia said was a “family function,” something passed down to his children, created together, and enjoyed by them all together. It is music that brought together Whadablee and his wife Sharon Turbe-DeSilvia, who first laid eyes on him at a dance in 1983. And it was through music that the U.S. Virgin Islands community had connected with Whadablee too.
It should come as no surprise that four-time calypso king Louis Ible also “met him through the music, his music resonated throughout the community.”
Ible had the unique experience of being a friend, co-creator, and competitor to Whadablee.
“I mean for me I had idolized him. You know I would watch him intensely and I would learn from that, learn from him,” Ible said in an interview with The Daily News. “He was very passionate when it came to music, when it came to culture, when it came to certain things that he needed to speak out as well. He was all of that. He meant a lot to the community. I think a lot of the changes we’ve had in Carnival and calypso and our culture — he had a hand into it. Through his music, through his soft-spoken personality, and his presence.”
Whadablee had been crowned V.I. Calypso Monarch of St. Thomas five times, his fifth consecutive win occurring in 2003 with an original song titled “Keep on Trying,” which the lyrics state, “Someday my reign will have to end, but I’ll enjoy it until then. Though at times I feel there’s nothing left to prove. I’ve been there, I’ve done that.”
He also won Calypso Monarch titles with songs such as “Political Death and Win or Lose,” “Bull to Cow and Tribute to Kitch,” “Hypocrites and More Money,”and “50 years of Mas and The Race,” respectively.
Ible recalled the year Whadablee took the crown.
“The year that he won the crown — when you saw him strut across the stage that night — you could see the confidence. He was looking like, I am going to win king tonight,” Ible said. “I even competed against him once. It was a king of king’s competition that pitted all the kings against each other. He was another opponent, but friends at the same time.”
He was a friend to many, born July 3, 1958, Whadablee attended the same high school as many on St. Thomas do — Charlotte Amalie High School. Ible said Whadablee was an “infectious” spirit and what he liked in his music “kind of epitomizes his personality as well.”
Both Whadablee and his music were jumpy, simple and sweet, Ible said.
“He had that song called “Banana Man.” He took it simple, simple, simple so everybody could sing that, the kids could sing that. Me, mine is full of words because I’m telling a story and really reciting a research paper. That is what I do. But his style was very simple and nice. So the hook is going to be catchy. The lyrics are going to be simple, and it’s going to be jumpy so you can dance with it but still learn something,” Ible said.
It was only last week that Whadablee was honored by the 34th Legislature during its Perma Plaque Ceremony commending him for his musical contributions, where he told the attendees about how pivotal learning ukulele was for him and that he actively used the instrument to compose all of his original songs.
For decades calypso pulsed through Whadablee’s veins, even in the bitter end music was on his tongue. Ible said if he had the chance to look his comrade in the eye again and tell him anything it would be an apology.
“I had that opportunity to perform with him for the Transfer Day celebration over in St. Croix and I was asked to be a part of that as well. He called me and he said ‘Louis they need your music. I want you to go to St. Croix with me. I want us to go together.’ — But I want us to go and perform together,” Ible recalled.
“So I don’t know if it was him feeling that this might be his last days, you know? We always say that when someone passes, you know? But he was a passionate man and when he called me last he told me I didn’t send in the stuff in time and they are moving on and getting someone else to perform. And I felt bad. I felt bad because he really wanted to have us on the stage,” Ible said.
Whadablee’s family disclosed his death has come as a shock and an autopsy needs to be performed to rule on a cause, but his wife said he was feeling ill earlier that day.
He is survived by four of his five children: Khaleed DeSilvia, Khamal DeSilvia, who preceded him in death, Khamry DeSilvia, Khadeem DeSilvia, and Khamoi DeSilvia; and his grandchildren, Melaya Petersen, Melik Petersen, Jr., and Mekai Petersen.
His contribution to calypso music in the territory will continue to endure as the years stretch to decades.


Leave a Comment