Manu Dibango Wiki – Biography
Manu Dibango who fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music has died with the coronavirus.
Emmanuel N’Djoké Dibango was a Cameroonian musician and songwriter who played saxophone and vibraphone. He developed a musical style fusing jazz, funk, and traditional Cameroonian music. His father was a member of the Yabassi ethnic group, though his mother was a Duala.
Manu Dibango, who fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music, died Tuesday with the coronavirus, according to his music publisher.
Manu Dibango Age
Manu Dibango was 86 years old. He was born on December 12, 1933 in Douala, Cameroon.
Dibango was born in 1933 in Douala, Cameroon. He attended high school in France and began learning instruments: first the piano, then saxophone – for which he became best known – and vibraphone. “The blacks that we saw [in France] were either boxers like Sugar Ray Robinson – or jazzmen,” he remembered in a 2018 interview. “So, we ended up going down to the cellars in Paris, where we could see the [Louis] Armstrongs and the Count Basies with whom we identified.”
He moved to Brussels and toured Europe with Africa Jazz under bandleader Joseph Kabasele, and spent time in Congo and Cameroon before returning to Paris in 1965.
He blended the cosmopolitan styles from Africa and Europe into his own fusion, resulting in his biggest hit, Soul Makossa, with a blazing saxophone line over a breakbeat and Dibango’s spoken vocals, originally written for the 1972 African Cup of Nations football tournament.
He was a member of the seminal Congolese rumba group, African Jazz, and has collaborated with many other musicians, including Fania All Stars, Fela Kuti, Herbie Hancock, Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, King Sunny Adé, Don Cherry, and Sly and Robbie. He achieved a considerable following in the UK with a disco hit called “Big Blow”, originally released in 1976 and re-mixed as a 12″ single in 1978 on Island Records. In 1998, he recorded the album CubAfrica with Cuban artist Eliades Ochoa. At the 16th Annual Grammy Awards in 1974, he was nominated in the categories Best R&B Instrumental Performance and Best Instrumental Composition for “Soul Makossa”.
The song “Soul Makossa” on the record of the same name contains the lyrics “makossa”, which means “(I) dance” in his native tongue, the Cameroonian language Duala. It has influenced popular music hits, including Kool and the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie”. The 1982 parody song “Boogie in your butt” by comedian Eddie Murphy interpolates Soul Makossa’s bassline and horn charts while “Butt Naked Booty Bless” by 1990s hip-hop group Poor Righteous Teachers heavily samples its musical bridge and drum patterns.
The line “mama-say, mama-sa, ma-makossa” from Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ was lifted from Dibango’s chorus on Soul Makossa – Dibango sued Jackson over the uncredited interpolation, winning an out of court settlement. In 2009, he took Jackson to court again along with Rihanna, whose track Don’t Stop the Music also uses the chorus line, but the complaint was deemed inadmissible.
Dibango went on to tour widely off the back of the track’s success, and collaborated with Hugh Masekela, Fela Kuti, Herbie Hancock and more. His tracks were also sampled by artists including Busta Rhymes and the Chemical Brothers.
Cause of Death
Manu Dibango, the Cameroonian musician celebrated for his blend of jazz, funk and traditional west African styles, has died aged 86 in a Paris hospital after contracting Covid-19.
A message on his Facebook page announced the news with “deep sadness”, and added: “His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organised when possible.”
Musicians paying tribute include Angelique Kidjo, who said on Twitter: “You’re the original Giant of African Music and a beautiful human being.”
Dear #ManuDibango, you’ve always been there for me from my beginnings in Paris to this rehearsal just 2 months ago! You re the original Giant of African Music and a beautiful human being. This coda of #SoulMakossa is for you! pic.twitter.com/3pGoICwjCn
— Angelique Kidjo (@angeliquekidjo) March 24, 2020
His net worth is estimated to be $100 million.