His family issued a statement yesterday confirming this and asking that his fans pray for him while respecting the family’s privacy.
They have since refused to give any additional information to the media here or in New York, although a member of Sparrow’s family said on an internet radio station: “On a scale of one to ten he is at four.”
The statement from Sparrow’s family read: “The family of Slinger Francisco, The Mighty Sparrow, is sad to announce that the Calypso King Of The World is in a New York hospital in a coma.
“The family is asking fans and the people of Trinidad and Tobago to pray for him and to respect their privacy. An update on his progress will be announced.”
It was signed by his wife, Margaret Francisco.
Sparrow has been having health challenges for the past three years, including having to undergo surgery in 2010 to treat an incarcerated right inguinal hernia that had caused him to cut short performances in Trinidad and in the United States because of excruciating pain while on stage.
He has been hospitalised for complications caused by diabetes more than once since.
The Calypso King of the World has continued to perform, sometimes needing to sing while seated, but always delivering pleasing performances.
One of his most recent shows was on August 5 at the MLK Summer Concert Series hosted by Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz, at Wingate Park in Brooklyn.
Sparrow was also in Trinidad and Tobago in July when he performed at the Mas Camp Pub, Woodbrook alongside Black Stalin.
Sparrow sang for more than an hour, delivering an energetic performance that reminded patrons of the entertainer they have loved for decades.