COVID-19, the devastating scourge, currently ravaging the world, has stripped Africa has of one of its best music stars of the century in the person of Cameroonian veteran Afro-jazz legend Manu Dibango.
Dibango, owner of some of the eternal music that evolved out of the African rich history, reportedly died on Tuesday after contracting the new coronavirus, quoting his representatives.
“He died early this morning in a hospital in the Paris region,” his music publisher Thierry Durepaire said of the 86-year-old legend, known in many quarters as the father of Makossa music, an African genre that is popular in many parts of the world.
One of the most popular albums of the legend, who arrived in Marseilles in 1949 as a teenager and was made Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in 2010, was the 1972 hit “Soul Makossa.”
He maintained his energy and love for live performance that defined his 60-year career with a 2019 tour with Symphonic Safari, mixing jazz and classical music, according to a report on France 24, which broke the sad news.
A message on his official Facebook page confirmed that his death had come after he contracted COVID-19.
“His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible,” the message said, the report, which also indicated that the saxophonist as one of the pioneers of Afro-jazz who also fused funk with traditional Cameroonian music, said.
In 2009, he accused Michael Jackson of borrowing one of his hooks for two songs on the legendary “Thriller” album, a case which the late pop star, settled out of court.