• Wednesday, Jun 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:45 am

Afro-jazz star dies after contracting coronavirus

  • Published at 08:01 pm March 24th, 2020
afro jazz
He was best known for the 1972 hit Soul Makossa AFP

The 86-year-old Cameroonian died early this morning in a hospital in Paris

Veteran Afro-jazz legend Manu Dibango died Tuesday after contracting the new coronavirus, one of the first worldwide stars to succumb to the disease.

The 86-year-old Cameroonian, best known for the 1972 hit Soul Makossa,  died early this morning in a hospital in the Paris region, his music publisher Thierry Durepaire said.

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.

French Culture Minister Franck Riester paid tribute to him on Twitter.

"The world of music has lost one of its legends," he wrote. "The generosity and talent of Manu Dibango knew no frontiers." 

The saxophonist was one of the pioneers of Afro jazz and also fused funk with traditional Cameroonian music.

In 2009, he accused Michael Jackson of borrowing one of his hooks for two songs on the legendary Thriller album.

Jackson settled out of court.

"I have the harmonies of Bach and Handel in my ear with Cameroonian lyrics," he told AFP in an August 2019 interview with AFP.

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