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Veteran Somali Musician Ahmed Ismail Hussein Has Died

Considered one of the founding fathers of contemporary Somali music and affectionately known as 'Hudeydi', the musician has passed away from the coronavirus at age 92.

Veteran Somali musician Ahmed Ismail Hussein has passed away at the age of 92 according to reports by the BBC. Considered one of the founding fathers of contemporary Somali music, the musician passed away in London, England, after having tested positive for the coronavirus.


"Hudeydi" as he was affectionately known, and whose music career spanned over several decades, was famous for playing the oud, a stringed instrument similar to the modern lute and that originated from the Middle East.

Dubbed the "King of Oud", his contribution to music during the anti-colonial and decolonization period of the country made him a significant musician of that time according to Hanna Ali, director of the London-based Kayd Somali arts organization. Following the death of Hudeydi, Ali goes on to add that, "In short, his music embodied the sound of the long struggle to freedom and independence."

In 2018, Hussein was honored for his lifetime contribution to music at the International Somali Awards.

Currently, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Somalia stands at 7 with no reported deaths. On the other hand, the total number of coronavirus cases on the African continent has now surpassed 10 600 with at least 533 reported deaths according to BBC's Coronavirus in Africa tracker.

READ: These are the 52 African Countries That Have Reported Cases of Coronavirus

The musician becomes the latest African public figure to die from the coronavirus following Cameroonian jazz legend Manu Dibango, former president of the Marseilles football club, Pape Diouf, and several others.

Tributes have been pouring in for Hussein since the news of his death emerged.






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The 11 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (May)

Featuring Davido, Tekno, Little Simz, Mr Eazi, Wizkid and more.

Here are the best tracks that came out of the buzzing Nigerian scene in May.

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The 6 Best East African Songs of the Month (May)

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Image courtesy of With Love PR.

The 11 Best Caribbean Songs of the Month (May)

Featuring Konshens x Afro B, Mr. Vegas, Stylo G, Sean Paul and more.

Back in the vinyl era, it was said that Jamaica produced more records per capita than any other nation in the world. In 2020, dancehall artists seem determined to uphold that reputation for prolific musicality, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Undoubtedly, Jamaican artists are driving Caribbean music at the moment, a dominance only partly explained by the recent proliferation of home studio setups and desktop production in dancehall (making it easier to keep the musical vibes flowing without touching road). It also has to do with simple timing, as music production and release calendars elsewhere in the Caribbean are often focused on the yearly crescendo of Carnival.

Trinidad, of course, pulled off a massive turnout at the end of February, just before recording their first confirmed case of COVID-19. But if Trini soca artists have already put in their work for 2020, many other West Indian Carnivals were or presumably will be cancelled. It remains to be seen whether scenes and styles associated with the big summer Carnivals (St. Lucian dennery, Bajan crop over and Grenadian jab-jab, to name a few) will take the risk of allowing large gatherings or attempt to recreate the festival experience virtually in an effort to support ongoing quarantine initiatives.

It's a strange new world...but we can all be thankful it still has room for a good old fashioned soundclash now and then. In that spirit, get all the Caribbean heat for this May below.

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