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...Aaron Duncan Youth of the Year

By Gary Cardinez

Lydia Duncan was speechless yesterday upon receiving the news that her nine-year-old son, Aaron Levi Duncan, was voted the Express Youth of the Year.

The surprised mother had to pause for a while before she said, "This is a shock but I think he did well this year. He has been a great ambassador, everywhere he performed he was well accepted.I am proud of him."

Duncan received the most nominations for "the youth who has made the most significant contribution in 2012 to national or community life".

The reigning Junior Calypso and Soca Monarch has been performing locally and abroad throughout this year.

He first won the Junior Calypso Monarch in 2010 and is now a triple champion, having won it again in 2011 and 2012.

Duncan attends the Newtown Boys' RC School and is currently in Standard Three, but started singing at age three. Grammar and mathematics are his favourite subjects and his hobbies are singing, dancing and listening to music.

He started singing as a back-up for his sister, Jaylana, who performed in several calypso competitions but his mother noticed something special about him.

When Duncan was five years old, he entered and won his school's calypso competition and later that year he entered the National Joint Action Committee's (NJAC) annual Emancipation calypso competition.

He won with a song "Freedom", composed and written by schoolteacher Larry Harewood. He used these two victories as a foundation to do bigger things and the next year he entered the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians' Organisation (TUCO) Junior National Calypso Monarch competition.

He won with "Doh Waste It" and became the youngest ever Junior Calypso Monarch.

The Larry Harewood composition also gave Duncan the titles of Eastern Credit Union Junior Calypso Monarch, the National Action Cultural Committee (NACC) Pioneers Calypso Monarch and the San Juan Junior Monarch

He has performed throughout Caribbean and North America and alongside David Rudder and Black Stalin and the Calypso King of the World, the Mighty Sparrow.

At seven, Duncan teamed up with soca icon Machel Montano to shoot a commercial for Sunshine Snacks.

In 2011, the tiny singer won seven titles: NYAC Pioneers, Eastern Credit Union, San Juan Junior Monarch, Couva Junior Calypso Monarch, Arouca Junior Calypso Monarch, Chaguanas Junior Calypso Monarch and the national Junior Calypso Monarch.

That year he travelled and performed in London, Boston and Barbados.

In 2012, he won another seven titles. This time he added the Junior Soca Monarch to the titles of Junior Calypso Monarch, The San Juan Junior Monarch, Eastern Credit Union Monarch, the NACC Pioneers, Chaguanas Junior Monarch and Tunapuna Junior Monarch.

This year he travelled to St Vincent, St Lucia, Barbados, Boston and New York for Labour Day. He was also a part of the 50th Anniversary album Going for Gold done by Machel Montano.

Duncan will defend his two major titles in the upcoming Carnival season.

Last Friday evening, Duncan performed at the Musical Legends concert and awards function at the Jean Pierre Complex during which he paid tribute to veteran calypsonian Lord Nelson.

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