Nigerian music veteran and legend, William Onyeabor has passed on at the age of 70. William Onyeabor got his fame with his self-made African electro-funk albums of the 1970s and ’80s and major hits both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria. One of his biggest hits to date is his single, When The Going Is Good & Smooth.
Onyeabor died on Monday at his home in Enugu, Nigeria. He was 70. His eldest son, Charles Onyekachi Onyeabor, announced the death. He did not specify the cause.
Mr. Onyeabor (pronounced OWN-yah-bore) released nine albums from 1977 to 1985 that sounded unlike anything you’d hear in African music. His songs relied on multitracked synthesizers and programmed, metronomic rhythms, yet the tracks were also infused with unmistakably African highlife, funk and Afrobeat grooves.
His music has also been sampled by a lot of new generation Nigerian artists, most recently by Timaya in his track with Flavour, Money.