- 22 May 20
He scored one of the biggest ever African hits with 'Yé Ké Yé Ké'
The very sad breaking news from the Guinean capital, Conakry, is that Mory Kanté has passed away aged 70.
"He suffered from chronic illnesses and often travelled to France for treatment but that was no longer possible with the coronavirus," his son Balla Kanté says. "We saw his condition deteriorate rapidly, but I was still surprised because he'd been through much worse times before."
From a family of famous griot storytellers, Kanté was already well-known throughout Africa when in 1987 his 'Yé Ké Yé Ké' single took off in Europe. A 1994 remix by German techno duo, Hardfloor, brought him to the attention of clubbers with the tune still part of many an old DJ skool set.
Known for his activism, he was in 2001 made Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and in 2014 helped raise money and awareness for Medecins Sans Frontieres as part of the Africa Stop Ebola musical project.
Celebrated Guinean musician Mory Kante has passed away. He was best known internationally for his 1987 hit song "Yé ké yé ké". The album it came from, Akwaba Beach, was the best-selling African record of its time.
— Africa Updates (@africaupdates) May 22, 2020
Je viens d'apprendre avec consternation le rappel à Dieu de mon frère aîné et référence Maître Mory Kanté. Je ressens un énorme vide aujourd'hui avec le départ de ce baobab de la Culture Africaine. Repose en paix. De ton Frère affligé Youssou Ndour pic.twitter.com/L62RWiEbTh
— YOUSSOU NDOUR (@YoussouNdourSN) May 22, 2020