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Calypsonian Leandra Cuffy
Calypsonian Leandra Cuffy

Leandra Cuffy, the fortyish female calypsonian from Grand Fond has died, Q95 radio first reported today.

She was one of Dominica's top female calypsonians.

In his to-be-published book "Historical Perspective of CALYPSO & SOCA: A celebration of past, present and future women in Calypso", Alex Bruno writes: "Leandra Cuffy, who made the Monarch Finals in 2007 and 2008, was also a contender in the 2010 finals when Tasha P created history."

Leandra died this morning at about 7 am on her way to the Princess Margaret Hospital. She complained earlier about feeling unwell.

Here's what Catholic Priest Fr. Vincent Esprit posted on Facebook:

"I have just received some sad news from my former Parish in Dominica, where I served. One of the leaders in the Church, Community and the island - Leandra Cuffy, suddenly passed. It was quite shocking to get this news this morning. This is what I wrote on her friend's page, since her fb account is inactive. May Saint Kateri lead you to your everlasting home of rest in the peace of Christ, dear Leandra!

"Dear Leandra, this is so sad! Thank you very much for your gift of your voice and the beautiful person you were. Thanks for your services to the Church and the community of Grand Fond, the South East and to the Commonwealth of Dominica! When you sang the psalms at Mass you warmed everybody's heart for Jesus! And of course you carried that same divine gift to the Calypso Arena! You always gave from a cheerful heart! When I saw you in May of this year 2016, you insisted that I had to taste your delicious Pizza! May the angels and the Saints lead you into paradise! May you join the chorus of angels, together with Lady Charmer from Grand Fond as well. Rest in the peace of Christ in the eternal Garden of love with the God of Creation".

Leandra was a drug abuse prevention officer in the Ministry of Community Development and she spent a lot of her time teaching school children around the island about avoiding drug abuse. She was also very active in cultural activities especially in creole music development in Grand Fond.

Deryck "De Hunter" St Rose, the President of the Dominica Calypso Association said he was shocked by the news.

"Waking up this morning, this wasn't the best thing we wanted to hear," Hunter said. " We've lost two calypsonians within these last three months (Booplay was the other Calypsonian) and I don't know what's really happening. But it's rough".

He added: "Leandra was a really, really nice person. Great voice. Just warm, very loving person to all the artistes. Very sad and we're really,really gonna miss her."