Congolese star collapses and dies at African music festival
After 40 years as one of Congo’s biggest stars, singer Papa Wemba died on stage at a music festival in Abidjan on April 24 2016. The 66 year-old star was giving one of his countless concert when he suddenly collapsed. Despite being attended to very quickly by first aid services, the singer died in hospital.
Papa Wemba is considered the king of modern rumba (also known as soukous), a guitar-based fusion of Latin and African dance styles inspired a generation of African musicians. His influence across Africa was absolutely huge, and he toured in the 90s with Peter Gabriel. His distinctive high-pitched voice was instantly recognisable on the more than 25 albums that he recorded.
A star in his own right, Wemba was also instrumental in the careers of many other musicians, notably Koffi Olomide.