The African saxophone legend Manu Dibango has died in Paris after catching coronavirus.
Dibango – best known for his 1972 hit Soul Makossa – is one of the first global stars to die from Covid-19.
The 86-year-old fused jazz and funk music with traditional sounds from his home country, Cameroon.
He collaborated with numerous artists over a long career, including US pianist Herbie Hancock and Nigeria’s Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.
The Cameroonian musician filed a lawsuit in 2009 saying Michael Jackson had stolen a hook from his song, Soul Makossa, for two tracks on the world’s best-selling album, Thriller. Jackson settled the case out of court.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove,” a statement on his official Facebook page read.
His funeral will take place in “strict privacy”, the statement read, asking instead for people to send condolences by email and adding that a tribute will be arranged “when possible”.
Top African musicians Angelique Kidjo and Youssou Ndour have led the tributes.
‘Giant of African music’
On Twitter, Kidjo shared a video, recorded two months ago, of her rehearsing the end of Soul Makossa with Dibango.
“You’re the original giant of African music and a beautiful human being,” the Beninois performer wrote.