The saxophone legend Manu Dibango has died of the coronavirus at the age of 86.
After six decades in music, the iconic Cameroonian saxophone player has passed away today (Tuesday 24th March) in the Paris region in France as a result of complications caused by the coronavirus.
His death was announced by his family and a statement was posted on his official Facebook account which reads: “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, further to covid 19.
“His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible.
“If you wish to express your condolences, please write to the following email :
“To Manu, Ad Lib…” (sic)
Dibango arrived in Marseille in 1949 when he was still a teenager and was awarded France’s highest civilian honour, the Chevalier d’Honneur, in 2010.
France as well as the jazz world are mourning his passing.
He famously sued Michael Jackson and Rihanna for plagiarism. He worked with greats such as Peter Gabriel, Sting, Serge Gainsbourg, Nino Ferrer and Dick Rivers.
One of his greatest songs, Soul Makossa, inspired Michael Jackson who mentioned him at the end of Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ but he failed to credit him in Thriller (1992). A financial settlement was reached.
The same happened again a few years later with Rihanna.
Dibango was born in 1933 in Douala, in Cameroon. His full name was Emmanuel N’Djoke Dibango.
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