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VIDEO: Koffi Olomide and Petit Rossi release song paying homage to Papa Wemba

Soukous musicians Koffi Olomide and Petit Rossi have released a new song paying homage to the late king of Congolese rumba Papa Wemba.


The 66-year-old died after collapsing on stage in Ivory Coast on 24th April 2016.

The Congolese President Joseph Kabila posthumously awarded Papa Wemba with one of the country’s highest honours. He was commended for the “merits and eminent services rendered to the Congolese nation.”

During the early stages of his career in the early 70s, Papa Wemba established a style that included traditional Congolese rumba and soukous, infused with traditional African sounds, Caribbean rhythms, rock and soul.

In the early 80 he achieved more of an “eclectic sound” in his work influenced by western popular music.

As a teenager, he used to sing in the choir of a local Roman Catholic Church.

Speaking about this transition in his music, Papa Wemba told the publication African Business in 2004. “When I started singing pop music, I left religious music completely. But there was always the influence of religious music on my voice because, with religious music, the minor key always recurs. When I compose songs, I often use the minor key.”

Watch “Hommage a Papa Wemba” by Koffi Olomide and Petit Rossi