Reggae legend, Ekeleke Elumelu, popularly known as Ras Kimono, is dead.
Ras Kimono, born on May 9, 1958, died at the age of 60.
The singer reportedly died on Sunday in a Lagos hospital after a brief illness.
In a recent chat, the reggae star said he had been a vegetarian for over 37 years and neither smoked nor drunk alcohol.
He said, “I have never smoked and I don’t drink alcohol. I tell people I have been a vegetarian for 37 years. Even when my friends were having sex with two girls at the same time in those days, I didn’t join them. I have never done what these girls and boys call threesome despite being famous and I am sure there are other people who have never done that too.
“When people attribute recklessness to youthful exuberance, I get worried because I once passed through that stage too. I believe it is all about your upbringing. The fact that you are young doesn’t mean you should be wayward.
Confirming the incident, Mr Tony Okoroji, Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), on Sunday lamented the demise of Nigerian reggae music legend.
Okoroji, in a phone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, described the death of the Delta State-born singer as “shocking and a big loss to the entertainment industry.”
“Right now I am talking to you from the Lagoon Hospital, and I can inform you that Ras Kimono is no more.
“His death came as a shock because I spoke with him yesterday.
“He will be terribly missed, as he was not just a board member of COSON, but a personal friend who gave me 100% support.
”He was supposed to travel to the United States today before he complained of a minor illness last night,” he said.
Okoroji, however, stressed that solace should be drawn from the fact that the late reggae legend left indelible footprints as a passionate artiste who contributed his quota to the growth of Nigerian music.
He, therefore, prayed God to grant his family the strength to bear the irreparable loss, adding that COSON and the entire music industry would celebrate the life and times of the late singer.
Ras Kimono started his music career as a member of the legendary Jastix Reggae Ital, alongside Majek Fashek, Amos McRoy Jegg and Black Rice Osagie.
His music was greatly influenced by the poverty, inequality and hardship he witnessed in his early life.
He released his solo debut album “Under pressure” on the Premier Music label in 1989, which propelled him to instant continental stardom.
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.