He died earlier today in Paris after contracting COVID-19.
Full name Emmanuel N'Djoké Dibango, the Cameroonian passed away earlier today at a hospital in Paris, where he lived. He was 86. The news was confirmed via his official Facebook page.
Dibango blended funk and jazz with traditional Cameroonian styles such as makossa. He also dabbled with electronic music. His 1985 album, Electric Africa, combined African jazz with synths and drum machines, featuring cameos from Herbie Hancock, Wally Badarou and Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell.
Dibango's biggest hit, "Soul Makossa," includes the line "mama-say, mama-sa, ma-makossa," which was later copied, without permission, by Michael Jackson in "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." Dibango sued, and the case was settled out of court.
Numerous artists have sampled Dibango's work over the years, including Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez and The Chemical Brothers, who sampled "Ceddo" on their 2007 track "Battle Scars."
Listen to Electric Africa and "Soul Makossa."
Read the Facebook statement in full.
crazy we lost another great to Coronavirus... Manu Dibango ... Le Grand... https://t.co/BnNX0FOqtA— Gilles Peterson (@gillespeterson) March 24, 2020
RIP Manu Dibango. B-Boy jam. https://t.co/OqQ8CoLDiJ— Kirk Degiorgio (@KirkDegiorgio) March 24, 2020
Mourning the loss of another great today - legendary sax player Manu Dibango. RIP Manu https://t.co/LfUTyEZtHn— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) March 24, 2020