Manu Dibango dies, aged 86, from coronavirus in France

World-famous singer and saxophonist Manu Dibango has died from a coronavirus infection at the age of 86 in France, his management team said on Tuesday.

‘It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on March 24, 2020, at 86 years old, further to Covid 19,’ read a statement on Dibango’s Facebook page.

Dibango died early Tuesday morning in a hospital in the Paris region, story about Thierry Henry Biography Durepaire, a member of the artist’s management team, told Reuters.  

Sad news: World-famous singer and saxophonist Manu Dibango has died from a coronavirus infection at the age of 86 in France, his management team said on Tuesday

Sad news: World-famous singer and saxophonist Manu Dibango has died from a coronavirus infection at the age of 86 in France, his management team said on Tuesday

Cameroon-born Dibango arrived in France in the early 1950s and studied jazz and saxophone in the northern city of Reims, where he started playing in clubs, according to a biography on his Facebook page.

His style of playing took on more African rhythms as he collaborated with Brussels-based musicians from Congo and he began touring in Africa, developing his trademark pumping saxophone rhythms.

‘Sax is sexy.

I play other instruments too, but my voice sounds best through a saxophone,’ Dibango – who also played piano, organ and vibraphone – told French music programme Basique last year.

In the late 1960s, Dibango started his own band, played with a string of French musicians and in 1972 he had a major hit with ‘Soul Makossa’, a song that brought him international success and was reinterpreted by many other artists.

Announcement: 'It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on March 24, 2020, at 86 years old, further to Covid 19,' read a statement on Dibango's Facebook page

Announcement: ‘It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on March 24, 2020, at 86 years old, further to Covid 19,’ read a statement on Dibango’s Facebook page

Sad loss: Dibango died early Tuesday morning in a hospital in the Paris region, Thierry Durepaire, a member of the artist's management team, told Reuters

Sad loss: Dibango died early Tuesday morning in a hospital in the Paris region, Thierry Durepaire, a member of the artist’s management team, told Reuters

In 2009, Dibango filed a lawsuit in a Paris court against the producers of Michael Jackson for using the ‘Mamase, mamasa, makossa’ riff from Soul Makossa.

The riff became world-famous through Jackson’s hit Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin. The case was later settled out of court.

In an interview in 2019, Dibango said the song was now there for all to use.

‘It has moved beyond me.

It is good in a way, once a song becomes a standard, it no longer belongs to the composer but to the person who interprets it,’ he said.

On Dibango’s 1992 album Wakafrika, produced in France, he reinterpreted a string of African hits and played with top African stars including Youssou N’dour, King Sunny Adé, Salif Keïta, Angélique Kidjo and Papa Wemba, as well as British rock singers Peter Gabriel and Sinéad O’Connor.

Last year: On the sidelines of a tour celebrating 60 years on stage, he said jazz music needed to have a danceable beat

Last year: On the sidelines of a tour celebrating 60 years on stage, he said jazz music needed to have a danceable beat

Legend: In 2010, Dibango received the 'legion d'honneur' medal in his adopted country France. He was diagnosed with a coronavirus infection earlier this month

Legend: In 2010, Dibango received the ‘legion d’honneur’ medal in his adopted country France.

He was diagnosed with a coronavirus infection earlier this month

In 2010, Dibango received the ‘legion d’honneur’ medal in his adopted country France.

He was diagnosed with a coronavirus infection earlier this month.

Last year, on the sidelines of a tour celebrating 60 years on stage, he said jazz music needed to have a danceable beat.

‘We are the leg specialists, things have to move, that is how I see music,’ he said. 

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Ibra and Bergkamp nominated for £25,000 William Hill Sports Book of th

Bergkamp and Ibrahimovic nominated for £25,000 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s extraordinary autobiography has been nominated for this year’s William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

The controversial Paris-Saint Germain striker describes his rows with former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, his admiration for Jose Mourinho and how he threatened to break a team-mate’s legs in the explosive book titled: ‘I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘.

The Sweden international is joined on the longlist by Arsenal legends Dennis Bergkamp, whose autobiography was released only last week, and Philippe Auclair’s acclaimed biography of record goalscorer Thierry Henry.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Dennis Bergkamp

On the ball: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left) and Dennis Bergkamp have been nominated for the prestigious award

Former PFA chairman Clarke Carlise is also on the list for his autobiography ‘A Footballer’s Life’. Other titles making the grade include Immortal: The Approved Biography of George Best and Lord Sebastian Coe’s autobiography Running My Life.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said: ‘As befits the 25th anniversary of the world’s undisputed finest award for sports books and their authors, I do not believe we have previously seen a year produce such an abundance of top quality titles.

‘The judges face their toughest task yet in initially creating a shortlist then deciding on a winner- which will have beaten a classic field to be declared champion.’

Nomination: Philippe Auclair's acclaimed biography of record Arsenal goalscorer Thierry Henry makes the list

Nomination: Philippe Auclair’s acclaimed biography of record Arsenal goalscorer Thierry Henry makes the list

As well as a £25,000 cash prize, the winning author will receive a £2,500 William Hill bet, a hand-bound copy of their book, and a day at the races. The shortlist will be announced on October 25 with the winning publication revealed in November.

Last year’s prize went to The Secret Race, written by Tyler Hamilton, the American who returned his 2004 Olympics gold medal because he also used performance enhancing drugs, and author Daniel Coyle. It was hailed as a ‘landmark publication’.

Hamilton was Armstrong’s teammate on the US Postal Service cycling team during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tour de France competitions.

The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award  longlist in full

Thierry Henry: Lonely at the Top – A Biography by Philippe Auclair (Macmillan)

Stillness and Speed: My story about Thierry Henry Biography by Dennis Bergkamp (Simon & Schuster)

The Boys In The Boat: An Epic True-Life Journey to the Heart of Hitler’s Berlin by Daniel James Brown (Macmillan)

You Don’t Know Me, But… A Footballer’s Life by Clarke Carlisle (Simon & Schuster)

Running My Life: The Autobiography by Seb Coe (Hodder & Stoughton)

The Outsider: My Autobiography by Jimmy Connors (Bantam Press)

The Sports Gene: What Makes The Perfect Athlete by David Epstein (Yellow Jersey Press)

Dreams Do Come True: The Autobiography by Katherine Grainger (Andre Deutsch)

Immortal: The Approved Biography of George Best by Duncan Hamilton (Century)

Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy: A Journey to the Heart of Cricket’s Underworld by Ed Hawkins (Bloomsbury)

I Am Zlatan Ibrahimović by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Lagercrantz and Ruth Urbom (Penguin)

Fear And Loathing in La Liga: Barcelona Vs Real Madrid by Sid Lowe (Yellow Jersey Press)

Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang by Jamie Reid (Racing Post)

Henry Cecil: Trainer of Genius by Brough Scott (Racing Post)

The Metaphysics of Ping-Pong by Guido Mina di Sospiro (Yellow Jersey Press)

Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by David Walsh (Simon & Schuster)

Domestique: The True Life Ups and Downs of a Tour Pro by Charly Wegelius and Tom Southam (Ebury Press)

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