Congolese music star Papa Wemba has died after collapsing on stage during a festival in the Ivory Coast, the concert organiser said Sunday.
Video from the concert shows the artist, who was 66, slumped on the floor as dancers continue to perform, unaware of what is happening.
French broadcaster France 24 confirmed the death, quoting his manager.
On the African music scene since 1969, Papa Wemba won a world following with his soukous rock music.
The Congolese band leader, whose real name was Jules Shungu Webadio, also inspired a cult movement known as the Sapeurs whose members, young men, spend huge amounts of money on designer clothes.
Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, commonly know as Papa Wemba was born on June 14, 1949 – was a Congolese musician, known for working in the Congolese rumba (later known as soukous) genre. He was one of Africa’s most popular musicians of the period and prominent in world music. He has been dubbed the “King of Rumba”. He suffered a seizure while performing in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and died on 24 April 2016.
In 2004, he was convicted in France of a role in an illegal immigration racket and spent three months in prison.
He remained one of Africa’s most popular musicians.
Soukous, also known as rumba rock, became the most popular sound across Africa.
Together with his bands Zaiko Langa Langa, Isifi and Viva La Musica, he racked up hit after hit including L’Esclave and Le Voyageur.
In addition to the prison time he spent in Europe, he was once jailed in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), for allegedly having an affair with a general’s daughter.
His conviction in France related to a racket whereby illegal immigrants were taken to Europe posing as members of his band.