African author, composer and singer Gnonnas Pedro died August 12 of prostate cancer in a hospital of Cotonou, the capital of the West African country Benin.

African author, composer and singer Gnonnas Pedro died August 12 of prostate cancer in a hospital of Cotonou, the capital of the West African country Benin.

Pedro, 61, was one of the five singers of pan-African band Africando.

Pedro had been diagnosed with cancer nine months ago. He had undergone surgery in France three times, the last time on August 6. When the final surgery failed, he decided to live out his remaining time in his homeland.

Born Gnonnan Sossou Pierre Kouassivi, he started his career some 40 years ago with leading Benin band Los Panchos. He later launched his own band Les Dadjés in Benin. He penned songs such as "La Musica" and "Dagamasi," which are well recognized throughout Africa.

In 1995, he joined Africando. The band is signed to Paris-based label Syllart Productions, and distributed by Next Music. Their music mixes Latin salsa and Cuban sounds with African grooves. According to the label, their debut album "Trovador" shifted half a million units worldwide. Africando's United States tour, scheduled for Sept. 2-22, will continue as planned.