The newly unveiled road sign for The Mighty Grynner Highway in Barbados.
Photo by George Alleyne

Campaigning since 1968, he began winning CropOver Road March competition — three in a row — between 1983 and 1985, and now with four more under his belt, Leo MacDonald Blenman, The Mighty Grynner, has had a main Barbados highway named after him.

Amidst much pomp and ceremony followed by a concert and rabid partying, Prime Minster Mia Mottley and the 73-year-old, who is still on the calypso circuit and very much in the 2019 CropOver competition, unveiled the road sign renaming Spring Garden Highway to ‘The Mighty Grynner Highway’.

Not only is it a spectacular highway linking Bridgetown to the Barbados West Coast but it is also the culmination point for the island’s world famous annual festival, CropOver, where band members go through their final judging point then join other revellers in a frenzy of dancing and prancing to reverberating music in to the night.

Ironically, Grynner hit the top of Barbados Tune-of-the Crop, or Road March, charts with the tune ‘Mr T’, a stinging rebuke of the then prime minister Tom Adams, in 1983 the same year that the nation’s elected leader declared open Spring Garden Highway.

Grynner followed up on his three successive wins with another three-peat between 1988 and 1990 to create a record of the most consecutive three-in-a-row wins, a record still standing today.

He won again in 1998 for his seventh Road March title.

With so many wins, naming of this highway after him was an act of formality granting title to King of the Road.

He is the second Barbadian to have a road named after him, following the opening of Rihanna Drive last year.

Throughout his 43-plus years as a performer, Grynner at all times went to the stage with a reservoir of energy, and at 73 he still jumps, gyrates, twists and turns like an effervescent 15-year-old, but one with no bones in the body.

The Mighty Grynner..
Photo by George Alleyne

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