Manu Dibango: African saxophone legend dies of Covid-19

Cameroon music icon dies from coronavirus in France

Cameroon music icon dies from coronavirus in France

Manu Dibango, a veteran Afro-jazz star, has died from the coronavirus in France, his family announced on Tuesday.

Music stalwart Manu Dibango passed away today morning at a hospital in Paris owing to COVID-19.

The musician pioneered Afro-jazz, fusing funk with traditional Cameroonian music. He was best known for his 1972 hit, Soul Makossa.

Dibango's funeral service will be held in privacy and a memory service will reportedly be organised when it's possible.

The musician was born on December 12, 1933, in Douala, Cameroon and spent most of his youthful life in France where he studied music with keen interest in piano and saxophone.

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.

"We are the leg specialists, things have to move, that is how I see music", he said.

The murmured line near the beginning of the song - "mama-say, mama-sa, ma-makossa" - was interpolated by Jackson on his 1983 hit "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'".

He worked with notable stars such as South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo and American Herbie Hancock and also won an all African Music Legend Award. Twenty one years later, Rihanna sampled that segment of Jackson's song for her single "Don't Stop the Music" and Dibango took them both to court, although his complaint was deemed inadmissible.

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