Guinean singer Mory Kante dies at 70

Lawrence Kim
May 24, 2020

On 22 May 2020, Kanté died at a hospital in the Guinean capital of Conakry, at the age of 70. He rose to worldwide fame in the late 1980s when "Yeke Yeke" became a huge hit across Europe, topping the charts in several countries and breaking the top 30 in the UK. "My father was a great personality". We have lost, the world has lost a true icon of #culture #mandingue and #guinéene.

I feel a huge void today with the departure of this baobab of African Culture.

Kante's long-running career saw him progress from regional acclaim as a player of the traditional West African kora instrument to worldwide stardom in the 1980s with his chart-topping hit Yeke Yeke.

Kante spent much of his youth in Mali, which neighbours his native Guinea, where in the early 1970s he joined the renowned Rail Band in which Keita was also a singer. A griot is a name for traditional West African musicians and storytellers.

It was his upbeat single Yeke Yeke that catapulted him to fame, and brought Mandingo dance music to nightclubs across Europe.

Alph Conde Twitter Post
Mory Kante, Guinea music star and 'baobab of culture', dies at 70

The album which included "Yeke "Yeke, "Akwaba Beach" also featured a song "Tama" which was the inspiration behind two Bollywood songs, 'Tamma Tamma" in Thanedaar and 'Jumma Chumma" in Hum.

Condolences poured in from all around the world after his death, with Guinea's President Alpha Conde tweeting "Thank You Artist" on Twitter.

He was also known for his charity work, becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations in 2001 and releasing a record to raise funds during the African Ebola outbreak.

"African culture is in mourning", he said. "Rest in peace my brother", Salif Keita, a Malian music star said in a Facebook post.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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