The Guinean singer and musician Mory Kanté, known for the world hit ‘Yéké Yéké’ from the 80s, died on Friday at the age of 70 in a hospital in Conakry. His son Balla reports this to AFP.
Guinean President Alpha Condé confirmed the news on Twitter, where he paid tribute to the late musician. “The African cultural world is mourning,” he wrote. “Thank you to the artist. An exceptional course. Exemplary. He was our pride.”
Mory Kanté became world-famous with his ‘Yéké Yéké’. He recorded the song in Paris where he (illegally) stayed.
In 1988 ‘Yéké Yéké’ was released as a single.
The song went over the counter more than 1 million times. Kanté was the first African artist to achieve this.
Just before that, Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ had made African pop very popular. But it is not the only explanation for the success of Kanté: his version of the West African griot (with a dance beat) was popular with the fans of acid house.