World-renowned jazz musician Manu Dibango has died of coronavirus Tuesday, according to his official Facebook page.
"Dear family, dear friends, dear fans, a voice raises from far away…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, of covid 19,” the statement posted on Facebook said.
The Cameroonian saxophone player achieved global fame in the 1970s for his style of mixing jazz with traditional music from his home country.
Dibango was also a big influence for many musicians around the globe for several decades and his music was often sampled; most famously in Michael Jackson’s hit "Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin." In it, Jackson used a catchy hook from Dibango's 1972 Soul Makossa.
Following Dibango’s death, Beninese Singer Angelique Kidjo posted a tribute for him via Twitter along with a video of them, singing and playing Soul Makossa earlier this year.
“#ManuDibango, you’ve always been there for me from my beginnings in Paris to this rehearsal just 2 months ago! You re the original Giant of African Music and a beautiful human being. This coda of #SoulMakossa is for you!,” Kidjo posted.
Dibango’s “funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible,” according to his Facebook account.