Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly was named the new president of Haiti yesterday after claiming a landslide victory (68 percent of the vote) over former Haitian first lady Mirlande Manigat. Why is this music news? Because Martelly was once a bad boy singer in his native country who was, as the New York Times puts it, "previously best known for disrobing and swearing on stage." Martelly also made awesomely dated music videos.
While "Sweet Micky" was a star in his own right, Martelly's candidacy received a big boost when Wyclef Jean began supporting his campaign after the onetime Fugee's own bid for the presidency was denied due to some rules in the Haitian constitution. Wyclef even took a bullet wound (maybe) while campaigning in support of Martelly as violence swept through the nation during elections.
By electing a national celebrity to their highest political position, the Haitian people have their own Ronald Reagan, only Reagan never wore bright pink fluorescent hats and carved hits with smooth reggae jams. Reagan also never had the job of repairing a nation ravaged by a massive earthquake, outbreak of disease, poverty, and countless more problems that Martelly will face when he enters office this May.
Celebrate the new Haitian president with some of his greatest hits:
"Ou Fe Mwen Mal"
"Ou La La"
"Kompa Forest Des Pins"
[Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images]
- Mirlande Manigat
- Wyclef Jean