Barbadians Stedson “Red Plastic Bag” Wiltshire and internet pioneer Alan Emtage are two of the people who will be conferred with honorary doctorates from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus at this year’s graduation ceremony in October. Trinidadian Maxine Williams will join them in receiving the degree.
Wiltshire, often referred to as RPB, will be conferred a Doctor of Letters (DLitt) for his contribution to entertainment.
His career spans nearly 40 years, and has seen him release over 400 songs and record 25 albums. He got his start in the St Philip Calypso Competition, which he won consecutively from 1979 to 1981. In 1982, RPB became the youngest person to win a national calypso title at 21 years old – an honour he held until 2016.
RPB has won the Pic-O-De-Crop calypso competition ten times, and is a two-time winner of the Tune of the Crop and the Sweet Soca competition. He has also won the Congaline Road March in 2000 and the Stag Jam Tune in 2017. He has also written hit songs for Alison Hinds, Ras Iley and the late Arrow, among others.
RPB was conferred a Barbados Service Star (BSS) in 1995 and a Barbados Jubilee Honour (BJH) in 2016, and has also been recognised by several cities such as Boston, Tampa, New York, Atlanta and Washington DC in the United States, and Toronto in Canada for his contribution to entertainment.