Saxophone legend Manu Dibango dies of COVID-19

Manu Dibango

The African saxophone legend Manu Dibango has died in Paris after catching coronavirus.

Dibango – best known for his 1972 song Soul Makossa – is one of the first global stars to die from Covid-19.

The 86-year-old fused jazz and funk music with traditional sounds from his home country, Cameroon.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove,” a statement on his official Facebook page read.

His funeral will take place in “strict privacy”, the statement read, asking instead for people to send condolences by email and adding that a tribute will be arranged “when possible”.

The 86-year-old jazz musician had last week announced on his Facebook page that he had contracted the coronavirus.

Born in the Cameroonian city of Douala in 1933, which at the time was under French colonial rule, Dibango’s musical career spanned across more than six decades.

He worked with such notable stars as South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo and American Herbie Hancock.

In 2009, the saxophonist filed a lawsuit claiming that Michael Jackson stole a hook from his song, Soul Makossa, for two songs on the world’s best-selling album, Thriller. Jackson settled the case out of court.

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