Veteran Afro-jazz star, Manu Dibango has died after contracting the deadly coronavirus.
The death of 86-year-old Cameroonian was confirmed on Tuesday morning by his music publisher, Thierry Durepaire.
“He died early this morning in a hospital in the Paris region,” Thierry Durepaire said.
Dibango’s family also confirmed his death in a Facebook post which reads:
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24 March 2020, at 86 years old, because of Covid-19.”
The family also revealed that his funeral will take place in “strict privacy”, while a public memorial service would be held at a later date.
“His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible,” the message said.
Manu Dibango, who was one of the pioneers of Afro-jazz and also fused funk with traditional Cameroonian music was best known for the 1972 hit “Soul Makossa.” He worked with popular stars including 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.