Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

In this Jan. 24, 2018, file photo, saxophonist Manu Dibango performs during Franck Sorbier's Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2018 fashion collection, in Paris.

The Associated Press

World-famous singer and saxophonist Manu Dibango has died from a coronavirus infection at the age of 86 in France, his management team said on Tuesday.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on March 24, 2020, at 86 years old, further to Covid 19,” read a statement on Mr. Dibango’s Facebook page.

Cameroon-born Mr. Dibango arrived in France in the early 1950s and studied jazz and saxophone in the northern city of Reims, where he started playing in clubs, according to a biography on his Facebook page.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Dibango died early Tuesday morning in a hospital in the Paris region, Thierry Durepaire, a member of the artist’s management team, told Reuters.

In the early 1960s, his style of playing took on more African rhythms as he collaborated with Brussels-based musicians from Congo and he began touring in Africa, developing his trademark pumping saxophone rhythms.

“Sax is sexy. I play other instruments too, but my voice sounds best through a saxophone,” Mr. Dibango – who also played piano, organ and vibraphone – told French music program Basique last year.

In the late 1960s, Mr. Dibango started his own band, played with a string of French musicians and in 1972 he had a major hit with Soul Makossa, a song that brought him international success and was reinterpreted by many other artists.

In 2009, Mr. Dibango filed a lawsuit in a Paris court against the producers of Michael Jackson for using the “Mamase, mamasa, makossa” riff from Soul Makossa. The riff became world-famous through Mr. Jackson’s hit Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’. The case was later settled out of court.

In an interview in 2019, Mr. Dibango said the song was now there for all to use. “It has moved beyond me. It is good in a way, once a song becomes a standard, it no longer belongs to the composer but to the person who interprets it,” he said.

On Mr. Dibango’s 1992 album, Wakafrika, produced in France, he reinterpreted a string of African hits and played with top African stars including Youssou N’Dour, King Sunny Adé, Salif Keïta, Angélique Kidjo and Papa Wemba, as well as British rock singers Peter Gabriel and Sinead O’Connor.

Story continues below advertisement

In 2010, Mr. Dibango received the “legion d’honneur” medal in his adopted country, France. He was diagnosed with a coronavirus infection earlier this month.

Last year, on the sidelines of a tour celebrating 60 years on stage, he said jazz music needed to have a danceable beat.

“We are the leg specialists, things have to move, that is how I see music,” he said.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies