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COVID-19: King of 'Soukous' dies at 67 [Culture]

The Morning Call

He was nicknamed the king of the soukous and he is probably one of the first African celebrities to die of the new coronavirus. Congolese Aurlus Aabélé died on Thursday in France at the age of 67 due to covid-19.

Aurlus Mabélé‘s health had become vulnerable for several years after suffering a stroke. He was finally taken away by the covid-19 pandemic. A huge loss for African and Congolese music in particular.

The man nicknamed “the king of soukous” sold more than 10 million records in his career. It was indeed in the 80s that Aurlus Mabélé, whose real name was Aurélien Miatsonama, founded the group “Loketo” with the famous guitarist, Diblo Dibala.

He also said it in his songs that he liked to dress up but he didn't limit himself only to sapping, because he had another message behind it, the one about educating the youth.

With the addition of sounds coming from synthesizers and rhythm boxes of the Congolese rumba of the 50s and 60s, Aurlus brings a new dimension to this music called soukous: a variant of the Congolese rumba, and that will quickly marvel the West Indies before reaching Europe and Africa.

Tracks such as Loketo, femme ivoirienne or “vacances aux Antilles” became cult songs that will remain in the memories of an entire generation.

Our Cedric Sehossolo speaks to Congolese based cultural journalist Privat Tiburce on Mabélé‘s legacy for younger generation.

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The Morning Call

The Morning Call is about you. We want to share your opinions on our programme. If you want to contribute to The Morning Call, here are the best ways to get in touch : For more details on how to contribute, click here.