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Manu Dibango: Sax Legend Dies of COVID-19

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 Anikulapo 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.

Born in the Cameroonian city of  Douala in 1933, which at the time was under French colonial rule, Dibango’s musical career spanned across more than six decades. 

He grew up in a religious Protestant family, and his first musical influences came from the church. But he drew on many influences and was well known for his eclectic style.

He was sent to high school in France, which is where he learnt to play the saxophone.

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