The African saxophone legend Manu Dibango has died in Paris after contracting coronavirus.
Dibango – best known for his 1972 song “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 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.
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.