After collapsing on stage, influential Congolese music star Papa Wemba died today, April 24, 2016 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, says media reports.Born as
Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, on June 14, 1949
Wemba was one of Africa's most popular musicians whoseSoukous kind of music, also known as rumba rock, became well known across Africa.
With his bands Zaiko Langa Langa, Isifi and Viva La Musica, he racked up hit after hit including L'Esclave and Le Voyageur.
In addition to his prison time, Wemba spent in Europe, he was once jailed in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), for allegedly having an affair with a general's daughter.
His conviction in France related to a racket whereby illegal immigrants were taken to Europe posing as members of his band.
Also known as The King of Rhumba Rock, Papa Wemba, was born in Kasai, Zaire. Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba first made his mark in 1970 in Kinshasa, where he was a singer, composer, and co-founder of the great youth group Zaiko Langa Langa. In 1974 he left to form his own band, Isife Lokole, and then in '76 began Viva La Musica.
Hoping to reach a wider audience he ended up in Paris in the early '80s, bringing with him the entire line-up of Viva La Musica. Wemba's musical vision went beyond the capabilities of his seasoned Zairen rhumba rockers as he began to experiment with a wide range of eclectic sounds.
Wemba's quite a stylish fellow, a sapeur, an aficionado of fashionable, well-designed clothing. His trendy suits with big jacket, and baggy, though tailored pants, are a strange mix of Africa, Paris, and the American zoot suit. A Soukous show is always a fashion event, and Wemba is a man of great style and taste.
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