On Sunday morning 24th of April , Papa Wemba, the King of Rumba Rock, died on stage doing what he loved best, and the last thing he heard as he lay dying was his own music being played.
Papa Wemba died on stage doing what he loved the most – making music.
As a musician, he was known for his impact on the rumba and soukous genres. His vibrant performances made him highly respected in world music circles.
Music was his life. It made him connect with his audience, and the way he narrated his life through his music meant so much to fans.
He made love songs; he made catchy, energetic songs that came with a dance. Dance is at the heart of much Congolese music, with the artist singing out instructions and the crowd responding and dancing together.
His unique voice, with the ability to hit high-pitched notes, made his music unmistakable.
The ability to sing in different languages helped his music travel and be heard across Swahili-speaking countries like Kenya. Rail On is a good example of such a track sung in Swahili.
Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, commonly known as Papa Wemba (14 June 1949 24 April 2016), was a Congolese singer and musician who played Congolese rumba,[ soukous and ndombolo. Sometimes dubbed the King of Rumba Rock, he was one of the most popular musicians of his time in Africa and played an important role in world music.. He was also a fashion icon who popularized the La Sape look and style through his musical group Viva la Musica, with whom he performed on stages throughout the world..
Papa Wemba, Viva la Musica – Foridoles
Wake Up – Papa Wembe with Koffi Olamide
Show Me the Way
Destin Ya Moto
Papa Wemba – Awa Y’okeyi
AMI OH Angelique Kidjo feat. Manu Dibango, Papa Wemba