Cultural icon Richard Stoute, known for hits such as Bajan Girl, Any Day Now and Vehicle from the 1970s, celebrated his 73rd birthday on January 8.
When contacted by Bajan Vibes, Stoute was in high spirits describing this year’s birthday celebrations as his best one yet.
The crooner who came to the limelight back in the 1970s, stole the hearts of Barbadians and music lovers across the world with his albums. He has also mentored and fostered many talented Barbadians through his annual competition, the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition, which is in its 42nd year.
The competition has been the foundation or stepping stone for artistes such as Alison Hinds, Rupee, Adrian Clarke, Betty Payne, Anthony Mr Blood Armstrong, Edwin Yearwood and Ian iWeb Webster, to name a few. Six graduates of the Richard Stoute Competition have been crowned calypso monarchs.
Having received numerous birthday well wishes from fans and after spending the day with friends and family, Stoute shared that he believed that he achieved his goal imprinting the hearts of locals. “My philosophy in life is that a man should try to do as many good things as he possibly can and I always wanted to leave a legacy of what I have done,” he remarked.
“At 73 years old I am able to do so many things, my sanity is there, I’m singing, I’m promoting, I’m helping other people. God has honoured me and I thank God every day for the honour He has given me to continue to do the work I believe He has ordained me to do,” Stoute added.
Boasting of 60 years in the entertainment industry, Stoute shared that his father repeatedly instructed him to “be myself and not to follow crowds” – a saying he wishes to pass on the younger generation. “I am happy to say that I have lived 73 years in this country and I don’t know what a police station looks like or what they do in there. This is something I would like to pass on to my young people . . . it is so much easier to be a good person. If they could just focus their attention on being good and to stay away from all those things, we would see a better Barbados,” he stated.
Throughout his life he has influenced many young Barbadian entertainers and mentored them on the business. Stoute said that when he passes on, he wants his past students to continue the legacy of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition.
“It is theirs… it is where they started. I would hate to know that I go and it has ceased, somebody took it over that is money hungry and doing the wrong things with it. It is not about money, it is about development,” he told Bajan Vibes.
In honour of his 60 years in the music industry, he will be hosting the Capricorn Affair on January 27 at Divi Southwinds. The event will feature alumni from the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition with 30 performers including Red Plastic Bag, Mighty Gabby, Classic and Ayana John expected to grace the stage.
The likes of Lou Dickenson from the United States and Perry Pilgrim from Canada will also be performing. (KK)