Guinean singer Mory Kante, who helped introduce African music to a world audience in the 1980s, died on Friday in the capital Conakry, his son Balla Kante told AFP.
His death was the result of untreated health problems, he said.
“He suffered from chronic illnesses and often traveled to France for treatment, but that was no longer possible with the coronavirus,” Balla Kante said.
“We saw his condition deteriorate rapidly, but I was still surprised because he’d been through much worse times before,” he added.
Kante is best known for his dance song “Yeke Yeke,” which was a huge hit in Africa before becoming a No. 1 in several European countries in 1988. It was the first African single to sell more than 1m copies and become a key track in Britain’s late 80s club revolution – in 2018, DJ Paul Oakenfold included the Afro Acid Mix of the track on an acid house compilation
Nicknamed the “electronic griot” — a play on the name for traditional West African musicians and storytellers — Kante died in hospital at the age of 70 after succumbing to untreated health problems.
Kante played guitar, the kora harp and balafon, in addition to being a singer.