French Guianese zouk singer Edith Lefel, considered one of the great voices of Afro-Caribbean music, died yesterday (Jan. 20) at a French hospital. She was 39. The hospital in Dreux, west of Paris, di

French Guianese zouk singer Edith Lefel, considered one of the great voices of Afro-Caribbean music, died yesterday (Jan. 20) at a French hospital. She was 39. The hospital in Dreux, west of Paris, did not give a cause of death. Radio France International said Lefel suffered heart failure.

Lefel's most recent album, "If Only," came out last month. Her albums, including include "La Kle," "Meci," "Rendez-vous," and "A Fleur de peau," established her as a leading figure in zouk, a mix of Caribbean and African rhythms.

Lefel was born in French Guiana but grew up on the French Caribbean island of Martinique. She was "one of the remarkable voices of Creole music," said French Culture Minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon. "She also was a very beautiful composer who knew admirably how to play with words and let us taste in full the charm of the Creole imagination."

Beyond her own albums, Lefel also recorded with such acts as Cesaria Evora, Jocelyne Beroard, Loketo, and Malavoi.


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