‘King of Congolese rumba’ Papa Wemba dies
PAPA Wemba, one of Africa’s greatest music stars, has died after collapsing on stage during a festival in the Ivory Coast, the concert organisers said Sunday.
Papa Wemba, who was known as the “king of Congolese rumba” for helping to bring the highly popular sound to an international audience, was 66.
The flamboyant singer died after performing three songs at the Urban Musical Festival Anoumabo (FEMUA) in Abidjan, the organisers said on their website.
Papa Wemba, who was born in 1949 in what was then Belgian Congo, inherited his love of song from his mother, who was a professional wailing woman at funerals.
He was convicted in 2004 of smuggling immigrants into France by disguising them as members of his band.
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