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10 Essential Manu Dibango Songs

A giant has fallen. We pay tribute to Manu Dibango by highlighting some of the best songs from the Cameroonian jazz legend's extensive discography.

Cameroonian jazz legend Manu Dibango passed away earlier today at a hospital just outside Paris, France. The 86-year-old musician had been in a state of recovery after having tested positive for the coronavirus.

A giant has fallen.

Dibango, who was born in Douala, Cameroon in 1933, became one of the foremost pioneers of Afro-jazz and was known for his fusion of funk with traditional Cameroonian sounds. His six-decade career saw him performing all over the world and collaborating with the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Fela Kuti and several other music heavyweights.

Following his 1972 hit song "Soul Makossa," Dibango serenaded audiences for years to come with his inimitable mastery of the saxophone. In many ways, Dibango was to Cameroonians (and the world over) what Masekela was to South Africans, what Fela was to Nigerians and what Oliver Mtukudzi was to Zimbabweans: legendary.

And so, while the world now mourns the loss of a legend, amid the uncertainty of an outbreak that continues to steal so much from humanity, we've selected just ten essential songs from Dibango's extensive discography to pay tribute to his indelible contribution to not only jazz, but music as a whole.


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(Photo by C Brandon/Redferns via Getty Images)

Legendary Cameroonian Musician, Manu Dibango, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

After a recent hospital stay, the 86-year-old "Soul Makossa" creator is now "recovering and resting in serenity."

Legendary Cameroonian musician, Manu Dibango, is in recovery after testing positive for the coronavirus in France. The news was shared via the artist's Facebook page on Wednesday.

"After a recent hospital [stay] due to the Covid-19, Manu Dibango is resting and recovering in serenity," read the post. "He asks you to respect his privacy. He looks forward to seeing you soon and asks you, in this troubled time that we all go through, to take good care of you." There has been an outpouring of well-wishes from his fans and supporters in the comments section since the news surfaced.

The 86-year-old saxophonist is considered one of the foremost pioneers of Afro-jazz, known for his fusion of funk with traditional Cameroonian sounds.

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