Congolese music legend, Mabele dies of Coronavirus

March 21, 2020
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Aurlus Mabele

Congolese music legend Aurlus Mabele has died in Paris of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), his daughter, Liza Monet, announced on Friday.

The singer died on Thursday shortly after being admitted to the hospital.

“My dad died of coronavirus this morning … Thank you for honoring his memory. He is a great legend of the Soukouss that the Congolese people are losing today. I am inconsolable and collapsed. My dad whom I love so much … Aurlus Mabele …,” Monet who is also a rapper wrote on Twitter.

Claudy Siar, the presenter of Radio France International’s “Couleurs Tropicales” Afro music programme, also paid tribute to the 67-year-old singer known as the “King of Soukous”, a high-tempo modern variant of Congolese rumba.

His former bandmate Mav Cacharel also mourned his loss on Facebook, paying tribute to a man who sold more than 10 million records and had a huge following across Africa.

Born Aurelien Miatsonama, Mabele grew up in the Poto-Poto neighbourhood of Brazzaville, and broke through in the 1980s with Loketo, a group founded by guitarist Diblo Dibala whose name means “hips” in Lingala.

In the 1990s, Mabele brought a Caribbean touch to the music which relied heavily on beat boxes and synthesisers, and won a fanbase in the French West Indies like the older Congolese group, Les Bantous de la Capitale.

The musician had been in fragile health for more than 15 years, and had previously suffered a stroke.

His last album, “Ca va se savoir” (“It Will be Known”), was released in 2004.

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