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Veteran music star Willie Onyeabor of ‘Atomic Bomb’ fame dies after brief illness

By News Express on 18/01/2017

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Late veteran musician and industrialist Willie Onyeabor.
Late veteran musician and industrialist Willie Onyeabor.

Nigerian funk and synth pioneer William Onyeabor has died at the age of 70, a post on his Facebook page says.

He died after a brief illness in his home in the south-eastern city of Enugu.

The post, written by the Luaka Bop music label, goes on this describe his amazing career:

“An extraordinary artist, businessman and visionary, Mr Onyeabor composed and self-released nine brilliant albums of groundbreaking electronic-funk from 1977-1985, which he recorded, pressed and printed at Wilfilms Limited – his personal pressing plant in south-east Nigeria.

“With the release of ‘Who is William Onyeabor?’ in 2013, his music and story took the world by storm. The release was featured in major newspapers, radio and television stations all around the world. TIME Magazine listed him as number 4 on a shortlist of that year’s best albums.

In 2014, the film documentary ‘Fantastic Man’ followed, as well as the ‘Atomic Bomb! Who is “William Onyeabor?’ live shows, which travelled to the most regarded festivals and music venues worldwide-starring over 50 special guests from many diverse generations, genres and backgrounds.”

After a string of successful albums, the late Onyeabor gave up music completely and became a successful industrialist.

According to Luaka Bop, he was simply referred to as “the chief” in his hometown of Enugu as he was known for having created many opportunities for the people in his community.

And it was Luaka Bop who managed to track him down again a few years ago as the New York record company wanted to issue a collection of his works.

This search for the reclusive funk pioneer became the subject of documentary film ‘Fantastic Man’ released in 2014.

•Pieced together from BBC reports.

Source News Express

Posted 18/01/2017 9:34:59 PM


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