Nigeria Reggae legend,Ras Kimono (real name Ukeleke Onwubuya) is dead.
The musician had slumped at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, while waiting to board a flight to the United States, on Saturday night.
The reggae star, who was known for hit songs like ‘We No Want’ debut album Under Pressure, led by the single “Rum-Bar Stylée”, had reportedly concluded plans to travel to the United States on Saturday.
The artiste, who was a native of Onicha Olona in the Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State and who recently clocked 60, was confirmed by the President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Pretty Okafor and the Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji.
Tributes have continued to pour in for the veteran reggae singer.
Among those who mourned his death are senator, Dino Melaye, singer Sound Sultan, Shina Peters, Oritz Wiliki and many of his contemporaries.
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.
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.
Delta state Governor Okowa sent condolences to the Music industry and the Onicha Olona community in Delta State over the loss.
He described the deceased as a true music legend whose songs entertained Nigerians in the 80s.
The statement read,
“I received with sadness the news of the passing away of Ras Kimono, a great reggae legend. He will be remembered for his hit song “Rumbar Stylee”.
“I join lovers of reggae music to mourn this great loss.
He belonged to an era of great reggae music exponents in Nigeria”. The Governor noted that Ras Kimono spent all his life promoting good governance through reggae music, good entertainment and healthy community relations.
“As one of the legends of reggae music, the Governor commends the late Ras Kimono for contributing to the development of music in Nigeria, and sustaining his interest in the music industry even in old age by participating in several music concerts”.