Manu Dibango

African Jazz Legend Manu Dibango Dies from COVID-19


African jazz legend has died in Paris after suffering from complications of COVID-19.

He was 86 years old.

Dibango announced earlier this month that he had tested positive for the virus, but informed his fans that he was “calmly recovering” in hospital.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, further to covid 19,” a statement posted to his official Facebook page reads.

Chers parents, chers amis, chers fans,Une voix s’élève au lointain…C'est avec une profonde tristesse que nous vous…

Posted by Manu Dibango – Officiel on Tuesday, March 24, 2020


“His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible,” the message added.

Dibango was a member of the influential Congolese group African Jazz. Over the course of his career, he collaborated with some of Africa’s most notable performers including Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, Nigerian guitarist King Sunny Adé and South African gospel group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

The line “mama-say, mama-sa, ma-makossa” featured in Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin‘ was taken from Dibango’s chorus on Soul Makossa—one of his biggest hits. Dibango sued Jackson, winning an out-of-court settlement.

Originally posted 2020-03-24 10:39:22.

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