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The children attgive the eulogy at the Farewell celebration of their father, Rt Hon Justin Hero Cassell OE on Saturday, March 23, 2024 (Screenshot from Phillomagic Live Stream)

Thousands Watch Celebration for the Life of Justin “Hero” Cassell

At last count, more than 11,000 views have been racked up on the YouTube stream for the celebration of the Life and Legacy of The Right Honourable Justin “Hero” Cassell. The 10-time calypso monarch was laid to rest on Saturday, March 23, 2024, after a service at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.

Hero, as he was called by all, died in London on February 5, 2024 at the age of 80.

Saturday’s celebration followed a week where Hero was memorialised in several events, including the arrival procession on Friday, March 15 with the Emerald Shamiole Masquerades and the Emerald Invaders String Band leading, a Candlelight vigil in Salem on Friday, March 22. ZJB Radio Montserrat also paid tribute and allowed friends and family to call in to share their memories and pay their respects.

Somewhat reminiscent of the funeral service of his younger brother Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell in 2010, Hero’s funeral included appearances by dignitaries and many of his musical peers from overseas and those he mentored, followed by a rousing calypso and soca concert.

Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Gaston Browne attended the funeral and shared that He had been a longtime fan of Hero, and he was blessed to have had a relationship with the musical genius spanning 20 years. Hero penned three of Browne’s campaign songs, which he credited with helping to grow his brand and positive public perception of him.


Senior Government of Montserrat officials including Premier Joseph Farrell, Deputy Premier Dr. Samuel Joseph, Minister of Agriculture Crenston Buffonge, Acting Governor Lyndell Simpson, and the Speaker of the House Charliena White, were also in attendance for the celebration.

Hero’s work in building the Agricultural studies programme at the Montserrat Secondary School was acknowledged by the Principal Cherlyn Hogan. Member of the St. Patrick’s Festival Committee Reinford “Kulcha Don” Gibbons spoke of Cassell’s focused and energetic quest to build the festival into what it is today.

Brenda Cassell, a cousin of Hero’s who was able to fulfill a goal to release a calypso song, spoke of his work ethic and drive for perfection. She said being able to be a part of his life in the last three months of his illness before his passing had a profound impact on her.

There were also tributes from abroad from the Alliouagana Singers, spoken word artist Myrle Roach, Nia Golden, who sang background vocals for calypsonians, among others.

Following a brief service with Catholic rights, Hero, who received a National Award in 2020 was laid to rest at the Lookout Cemetery.

A repast was hosted at the Montserrat Cultural Centre followed by a concert hosted by radio personality Basil Chambers. The concert began with performances by young calypsonians, then popular former monarchs including Keithroy “De Bear”, Earl “Hustler” Browne, Sylvina “Khandie” Malone, and Anderson “Andy” Kirnon.

Dyllon “Lighta” Cassell, one of Hero’s four sons, led the band, which comprised original members of the University of Soca (Trevor “TC” Cassell, Rolan “Strokes” Irish, and Clarence “Oungku” Edwards), along with Cecil “Cepeke” Lake. Lighta’s whose voice is representative of his father’s sang popular tracks including Where D Galvanize, Slow Down, Who’s D Man, String Band Jam, and Tiney Winey.

Watch the tribute concert below.



Listen to original tracks from Justin Hero Cassell on YouTube