Music

Tabu Ley Rochereau

Born 13 November 1940. Died 30 November 2013.

Biography

Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi Tabu (13 November 1937 or 1940 – 30 November 2013), better known as Tabu Ley Rochereau, was a leading African rumba singer-songwriter from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was the leader of Orchestre Afrisa International, as well as one of Africa's most influential vocalists and prolific songwriters. Along with guitarist Dr Nico Kasanda, Tabu Ley pioneered soukous (African rumba) and internationalised his music by fusing elements of Congolese folk music with Cuban, Caribbean and Latin American rumba. He has been described as "the Congolese personality who, along with [the dictator] Mobutu, [most] marked Africa's 20th century history." He was dubbed "the African Elvis" by the Los Angeles Times. After the fall of the Mobutu regime, Tabu Ley also pursued a political career.

During his career, Tabu Ley composed up to 3,000 songs and produced 250 albums.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of The Voice of Lightness, Volume 2

    The Voice of Lightness, Volume 2 2010

    Reviewed by Jon Lusk
    Meticulously annotated two-CD set from one of Africa’s most popular performers.
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