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The stars aligned perfectly in 1974 when two significant things occurred in Trinidad and Tobago. Elizabeth Montano gave birth to a boy child and named him Machel Jesus, and Garfield Blackman, known artistically as Lord Shorty and subsequently as Ras Shorty I, produced a phenomenal album titled Endless Vibrations.

The album heralded a new dawn in T&T music, the birth of the Soca genre. While 1974 is the widely accepted birth date of Soca, Shorty's experimentation with traditional kaiso (calypso) rhythms and East Indian instruments actually dated back to 1963 when he composed "Cloak and Dagger."

The meteoric growth, development and popularity of Soca music spans half a century and has been immortalized by artists like the late Maestro and Shadow, Explainer, Lord Nelson, Arrow, Swallow, Beckett, Iwer George, Ronnie McIntosh, SuperBlue and Machel.

Machel Jesus Montano celebrates his birthday on November 24. He was just ten years old, when he won his first national title, crowned the 1984 National Junior Calypso Monarch. From then, he has carved a niche for himself to become one of the most revered and celebrated artists in calypso and Soca history.

Though never crowned the National Calypso Monarch, Machel has had six victories in the Soca Monarch Competition, winning his first in 2011. He has also won the Road March title on multiple occasions.

Machel is spending his 47th birthday abroad, on a sabbatical with his wife, the former Renee Butcher. He is also completing his biography - Machel Montano: King of Soca.

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