African music legend, Mory Kanté, popularly known for his hit songs like Yéké Yéké has died at the age of 70.
Kanté died in a hospital on Friday in the capital, Conakry, Guinea aged 70, his son Balla Kanté confirmed the news to reporters.
Balla said: “He suffered from chronic illnesses and often travelled to France for treatment but that was no longer possible with the coronavirus,
“We saw his condition deteriorate rapidly, but I was still surprised because he’d been through much worse times before.”
Kante is best known for his dance song “Yeke Yeke,” which was a huge hit in Africa before becoming a number-one hit in several European countries in 1988.
The album it came from, titled Akwaba Beach, was the best-selling African record of its time, while the song became the first African single to sell over one million copies.
Tributes were paid by fellow musicians on Friday, including Senegalese musician Youssou N’Dour who said he felt a huge void on learning of Kanté’s death. He also called the late singer “a baobab of African culture”.
The president of Guinea, Alpha Condé, said on Twitter that African culture was in mourning. He thanked Kanté, saying his career had been “exceptional”.