Mory Kanté: African music star kicks the bucket matured 70

The vocalist Mory Kanté, who carried African music to world crowds with hits like Yéké, has kicked the bucket in Guinea.

Kanté passed on in medical clinic on Friday in the capital, Conakry, matured 70, his child Balla Kanté told the AFP news organization.

His death was the result of untreated health problems, he said.

“He suffered from chronic illnesses and often travelled to France for treatment but that was no longer possible with the coronavirus,” he added.

“We saw his condition deteriorate rapidly, but I was still surprised because he’d been through much worse times before.”

  • BBC Music: Mory Kanté
  • Africa Live: Latest stories from the continent

Born in a famous family of “griots” – West African musicians and storytellers – he had been nicknamed “the electronic griot”, and was known as a distinguished player of kora – a west African harp.

His song Yéké Yéké became a huge hit in the late 1980s and was widely remixed.

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 and 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”.

Kanté is the latest prominent African musician to pass away, after the recent deaths of Manu Dibango, Tony Allen and Idir.

  • ‘World’s greatest drummer’ Tony Allen dies
  • Manu Dibango: The saxophone legend who inspired a disco groove
  • Algerian singer Idir dies in France aged 70

Leave a Reply