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Cameroonian Afro-jazz Legend, Manu Dibango Dies of Coronavirus

manu dibango

Legendary Cameroonian Afro-jazz musician, Manu Dibango has died from the coronavirus in France, his family announced on Tuesday.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, further to Covid-19,” his family said in a statement on Facebook.

Dibango was a Cameroonian musician and songwriter who played the saxophone and vibraphone, and behind such Afro-jazz standards as “Soul Makossa” and “The Panther”. Famous for having his 1972 hit single “Soul Makossa” sampled in Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Starting Something” and subsequently Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop The Music”.

He developed a musical style fusing jazz, funk and traditional Cameroonian music. Across a decades-long career, Dibango has collaborated with the likes of Fela Kuti, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Herbie Hancock. He was named UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2004.

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