Jazz legend Manu Dibango has died at the age of 86.
According to BBC, the French-Cameroonian saxophonist and vibraphonist died due to complications stemming from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus strain.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce [to] you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, further to COVID-19,” read the statement from Dibango’s official Facebook page. “His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible.”
The official statement also encourages fans to send condolences to the family via email.
Born Emmanuel N’Djoké Dibango on December 12, 1933, during French colonial rule, Dibango fused jazz, traditional Cameroonian music and funk, which sparked a musical career spanning over six decades.
Dibango was best known for his hit 1972 song “Soul Makossa,” which was famously sampled by Michael Jackson in “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” (including a remake of the song in 2008, featuring Akon).
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.
Additionally, Rihanna sampled the song in “Don’t Stop the Music.” Dibango also worked with stars such as fellow jazz legend Herbie Hancock and South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Rest in power, Manu Dibango.