Caribbean calypso and soca star Alphonsus Cassell, who performed under the professional name Arrow, died Sept. 15 from brain cancer complications on the island of Montserrat. He was 60.
Arrow was best known for his 1982 hit “Hot Hot Hot,” which former New York Dolls singer David Johansen, in his lounge-lizard persona of Buster Poindexter, turned into a 1987 U.S. hit.
Born into a family that produced two calypso kings at Montserrat’s annual Christmas carnival, Arrow was influenced by the Trinidadian calypso star the Mighty Sparrow.
He was himself crowned carnival calypso king four times and became a leader of the dance-oriented calypso derivative soca.
“There’s something about soca music that gives you the feeling that you want to get up and dance,” he told the editors of “The Rough Guide to World Music.” “Forget whatever problems you have, let’s take you into some temporary Utopia, let’s forget the bills and just enjoy yourself.”
Arrow toured internationally, and was so famous in his homeland that his face appeared on telephone cards issued in Montserrat.
He is survived by four children and two grandchildren.