Orlando Julius, a popular highlife musician, is dead.
The 79-year-old died on Friday morning. His death was confirmed by his wife, Latoya Aduke.
Music boss, Bimbo Esho, posted on her known Facebook page this morning: “Bimbo, Daddy Has Passed On…This was the message I stumbled on waking up at exactly 3am to peruse my WhatsApp page. It was a message sent in to me by Orlando Julius beautiful and supportive wife Lady Latoya.
“Orlando Julius, a native of Ijebu Ijesha, succumbed to the cold hands of death and breathed his last few hours ago at the age of 79.
“We shall miss one of Nigeria’s fathers of Afro/Highlife Music, a gentleman and a fine saxophonist.
“May daddy Orlando Julius soul journey well. To the entire Ekemode family, may God give you the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.”
Starting in the ’60s, Julius was fusing traditional African sounds and rhythms with those of American pop, soul, and R&B.
Aside from performing and recording in his native Nigeria, he spent many years in the United States working on collaborations with Lamont Dozier, the Crusaders, and Hugh Masekela.
His 1966 effort, Super Afro Soul, made him a national celebrity in Nigeria and even went so far as to influence music in the United States.