PARIS (CelebrityAccess) – Manu Dibango, one of the most influential musicians in world dance music, died Tuesday in a Paris-area hospital after contracting coronavirus.
His death was confirmed by his music publisher Thierry Durepaire, in a statement Tuesday.
The Cameroon-born saxophonist, 86, gained international fame with his 1972 song “Soul Makossa,” which fused jazz, funk, and traditional Cameroonian music to become one of the genre’s earliest global hits.
Dibango was also a member of the seminal Congolese rumba group, African Jazz, collaborating with numerous renowned musicians, including Fania All Stars, Fela Kuti, Herbie Hancock, Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, King Sunny Adé, Don Cherry, and Sly and Robbie.
Additionally, he served as the first chairman of the Cameroon Music Corporation and was appointed a UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2004.
In 2009, Dibango filed a lawsuit against Michael Jackson claiming that the pop icon had used his “Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa” hook without his permission. Jackson later settled out of court.
Funeral services for Dibango will be “held in strict privacy” followed by a tribute “when possible,” Tuesday’s announcement said.
Dibango is survived by his four children.