Manu Dibango, who fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music, died Tuesday (March 24) with the coronavirus, according to his music publisher. He was 86. The Cameroon-born saxophonist, who gained international fame with his 1972 song “Soul Makossa,” died in a hospital in the Paris region, Thierry Durepaire said.
Dibango was hospitalized with an illness “linked to COVID-19,” his official Facebook page said last week. “Soul Makossa” was one of the earliest hits in the nascent world music scene, including a catchy hook copied by some of the world’s biggest pop stars.