Veteran Afro-jazz legend Manu Dibango died on Tuesday in Paris after contracting the coronavirus.
The 86-year-old Cameroonian, best known for the 1972 hit “Soul Makossa”, is one of the first worldwide stars to die as a result of COVID-19.
The saxophonist was one of the pioneers of Afro jazz and also fused funk with traditional Cameroonian music.
“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”.
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 worked with such notable stars as South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo and American Herbie Hancock.
In 2009, he accused Michael Jackson of borrowing one of his hooks for two songs on the legendary “Thriller” album. Jackson settled out of court.