Nigerian reggae star Ras Kimono has died aged 60.
The musician slumped at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, while waiting to board a flight to the US Saturday night.
According to sources close to him, who spoke to Nigeria’s Punch newspaper, Kimono was immediately rushed to a hospital in Ikeja and then taken to another hospital on Lagos Island where he later died on Sunday morning.
The Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Tony Okoroji, described the death of the Delta State-born singer as “shocking and a big loss to the entertainment industry.”
“Right now I am talking to you from the Lagoon Hospital, and I can inform to you that Ras Kimono is no more.
“His death has come as a shock because I spoke with him yesterday [Saturday]. He will be terribly missed, as he was not just a board member of COSON, but a personal friend who gave me 100 per cent support. He was supposed to travel to the United States today [Sunday, June 10] before he complained of a minor illness last night,” said Okoroji.
Ras Kimono, born Ekeleke Elumelu on May 9,1958, started his music career as a member of the legendary Jastix Reggae Ital, alongside Majek Fashek, Amos McRoy Jegg and Black Rice Osagie.
His music was greatly influenced by the poverty, inequality and hardship he witnessed in his early life. He released his solo debut album “Under pressure” on the Premier Music label in 1989, which propelled him to instant continental stardom.
The album had hits like Under pressure, Natty get jail and the massive hit Rhumba Style.
He later released a string of hit albums, touring Africa, Europe and the United States, promoting his brand of reggae music.
Ras Kimono won several awards including the Nigeria Music Awards, Fame Music Award, and before his death he was still performing to fan-base of all ages, and his brand of music still remained timeless.