Entertainment

Cameroon jazz-funk great Manu Dibango dies after COVID-19 hospitalization

Manu Dibango, who fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music, died Tuesday with the coronavirus, according to his music publisher. He was 86.

Known for Soul Makossa, tune sampled by Michael Jackson, Rihanna

Renowned jazz-funk master Manu Dibango, the beloved 'Papy Groove' who served as an inspiration and pioneer in his art, died on Tuesday from the coronavirus, his official Facebook page announced. He was 86. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press)

Manu Dibango, who fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music, died Tuesday with the coronavirus, according to his music publisher. He was 86.

The Cameroon-born saxophonist, who gained international fame with his 1972 song Soul Makossa, died in a hospital in the Paris region, Thierry Durepaire said.

Dibango was hospitalized with an illness "linked to COVID-19," his official Facebook page said last week.

Soul Makossa was one of the earliest hits in the nascent world music scene, including a catchy hook copied by some of the world's biggest pop stars.

In 2009, Dibango filed a lawsuit against Michael Jackson and Rihanna, claiming they had stolen his music in Wanna Be Startin' Something and Don't Stop the Music, respectively. Jackson settled out of court.

Funeral services were to be "held in strict privacy" followed by a tribute "when possible," Tuesday's announcement said.

Funerals in France have been limited to 20 people in the closest circle of the deceased because of a lockdown to try to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Dibango is survived by four children.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.