African singer best known for 1980s hit Yeke Yeke dies aged 70 in Guinea

African singer Mory Kante has died aged 70 in Guinea.

The star was credited with bringing African music to world audiences with hits including Yeke Yeke.

He died in hospital on Friday in the Guinea capital, Conakry, and the sad news was confirmed his son Balla Kanté.

Balla told the AFP news agency his father died from health problems which had been left untreated due to the coronavirus outbreak.

He said: “He suffered from chronic illnesses and often travelled to France for treatment but that was no longer possible with the coronavirus.

“We saw his condition deteriorate rapidly, but I was still surprised because he’d been through much worse times before.”

Both a musician and a singer, Kante was best known for his 1987 song Yeke Yeke which became a number one hit in countries across Europe in 1988.

It hit the top in Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, and Spain and became the first African record to sell more than one million copies.

The song was given a special remix for the UK, named the Afro Acid Mix, and it peaked at number. 25.

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He started his career in the 1970s as a member of the Rail Band and took over as singer when their frontman left.

Kante was propelled to international stardom following the release of his hist track in the 1980s, and returned to the global stage once again in 1994 when German techno act released a new remix of the track.

In addition to singing, he was accomplished on the guitar, the kora harp and the balafon.

He was also known for his charity work, becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations in 2001 and releasing a record to raise funds during the African Ebola outbreak.

The 2014 track, Africa Stop Ebola, also featured African stars including Tiken Jah Fakoly and rapper Didier Awadi.

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