Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria, Mr Tony Okoroji, on Sunday lamented the demise of Nigerian reggae music legend Ras Kimono, who passed on at 60.
The iconic music legend reportedly died on Sunday at Lagoon Hospital in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Okoroji , who confirmed the report in a phone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, 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 you that Ras Kimono is no more.
“His death came as a shock because I spoke with him yesterday.
“He will be terribly missed, as he was not just a board member of COSON, but a personal friend who gave me 100% support.
”He was supposed to travel to the United States today before he complained of a minor illness last night,” he said.
Okoroji, however, stressed that solace should be drawn from the fact that the late reggae legend left indelible footprints as a passionate artiste who contributed his quota to the growth of Nigerian music.
He, therefore, prayed God to grant his family the strength to bear the irreparable loss, adding that COSON and the entire music industry would celebrate the life and times of the late singer.
NAN reports that 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 all over 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.