Congolese music star Aurlus Mabele has died in hospital in France’s capital Paris, aged 67. Posts on social media from friends and relatives say he died of coronavirus but this is not confirmed.
His fans called him the king of soukous – a high-tempo Congolese dance music popular across Africa. His daughter, French singer Liza Monet, tweeted on Thursday that her father had died of coronavirus. “I am inconsolable” she wrote.
Fellow member of the supergroup Loketo, Mav Cacharel, also said on Facebook that he had died of coronavirus. His manager, Jimmy Ouetenou, however, told BBC Afrique that it was not confirmed he died of coronavirus and that he had long-term health problems.
He was admitted to hospital on Thursday and died on the same day. Mabele, whose real name is Aurelien Miatsonama, was from Congo-Brazzaville and moved to France in the 1980s.
He became famous across East Africa in the 1980s, selling more than 10 million albums, according to the music website Music in Africa.
His hits include the track Embargo. Mr Ouetenou said talks were already underway with the Congolese government for him to be buried in his home country.
In the meantime, his coffin will be placed in a burial vault until travel restrictions due to coronavirus are lifted, reports BBC Afrique’s Rose-Marie Bouboutou.
Bako, John Chukwudi