Orlando Julius, highlife veteran, dies at 79
Highlife veteran Orlando Julius has died aged 79.
Julius’ death was announced in the early hours of Friday by his wife, Latoya Ekemode.
She said Julius passed out in his sleep Thursday night.
“Yes, my husband passed away late last night, there was no indication that death was approaching, he was not sick, he just slept and died in his sleep,” she said.
the ‘A dara, a dara’ the singer’s death was also confirmed by music promoter, Bimbo Esho.
“Bimbo, daddy passed away… This was the message I came across when I woke up at exactly 3 a.m. to go through my WhatsApp page. It was a message sent to me by Lady Latoya, the beautiful wife of Orlando Julius.
“Ijebu Ijesha native Orlando Julius succumbed to the cold hands of death and breathed his last hours a few hours ago at the age of 79.
“We will miss one of the Nigerian fathers of afro/highlife music, a gentleman and a fine saxophonist.
“May the soul of daddy Orlando Julius travel well. To all the Ekemode family, may God give you the courage to bear this irreplaceable loss,” said Bimbo Esho.
the ‘Jagua Nana’ The singer celebrated his 60th birthday on stage last year.
Julius was a saxophonist, singer, bandleader, and songwriter closely associated with Afrobeat music.
Some of his music albums are Disco Hi-Life, Ololufe, Love, Peace and Happiness; Dance Afrobeat and more.
According to his wiki profile, Julius was born in 1943 in Ikole, Nigeria to a family of merchants during British colonialism. His first music teacher was his mother, who sang and danced while he played the drums.
He went to St. Peter’s Anglican School in Ikole and played in the school band.
In 1957, after dropping out of school and the death of his father, he left for Ibadan to pursue a career as a musician. He worked in a bakery while playing drums or flute with juju and konkoma groups. There was no music school in the area at the time, so Prime Minister Obafemi Awolowo set one up at his political party secretariat.
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