[Today in History] Congolese music pioneer Papa Wemba passes away

Francis Akhalbey April 24, 2018
Papa Wemba -- Photo Credit: fr.trace.tv

On this day in 2016, iconic Congolese music pioneer Papa Wemba passed away at the age of 66 after collapsing on stage during a performance in Ivory Coast.

Papa Wemba is fondly remembered for his rich blend of African, Cuban and Western sounds that became one of Africa’s most popular music styles and kept him relevant in the African music scene for over four decades.

Born with the name Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, Papa Wemba started his singing career in religious choirs and then became one of Congo’s most sought-after music legends. In his special genre, Congolese rumba or soukous, he chalked up success after success including hit records L’Esclave and Le Voyageur with his bands Zaiko Langa Langa, Isifi and Viva La Musica.

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