Wednesday, 18 January 2017
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William Onyeabor fantastic man and atomic bomb singer dead!

william onyeabor dies

The sad death of  Nigerian 70s and 80s iconic funk and electronic singer,William Onyeabor on the 16th Jan 2017, has been announced.The atomic bomb singer was said to have died peacefully at his Enugu palace at the age of 70.He is survived by four children and four grandchildren.
The man well known for his song,fantastic man did not find much commercial success at his peak,a couple of albums did well,but not enough for him to stick to his music.He retired from music in the 80s and went on to be a very rich business man living in Eastern Nigeria.


His style was heavily rhythmic and synthesized,a form of music that was popular in Naija at that period.He suddenly had a renaissance in Europe when his music gain popularity among
collectors in the 2000s.He became much in demand and a number of his songs have appeared on various compilations, most often his biggest hit, "Better Change Your Mind", which has appeared on Africa 100, World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love's a Real Thing - The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa, and Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of 1970's Funky Lagos, through labels such as Luaka Bop.


His biography states Onyeabor was born into a poor family, but became financially successful enough to travel to Europe to study record manufacturing.He also studied cinematography in Russia, returning to Nigeria in the 1970s to start his own Wilfilms music label and to set up a recording and production studio. He then became a crowned High Chief in his hometown,Enugu.After his retirement from music,he became so uccessful in business that he was named West African Industrialist of the Year in 1987.

He however remained an enigma,refusing to talk about his past music because he was now a born again christian.However,the man who released 8 self sponsored albums between 1977 and 1985,succumbed to unrelenting pressure when he finally gave an interview in December 2014,with a radio appearance on the Lauren Laverne Show on BBC 6 Music, where he stated "I only create music that will help the world," whilst also admitting that he has never played live, and announcing that he had plans to release new material.


A 31-minute documentary entitled Fantastic Man that documents Onyeabor's history,biography and legacy was also released in 2014.The same year saw a supergorup called the Atomic Bomb, get together to perform his music at a series of concerts and festivals around the world.Among those in the group were, Ahmed Gallab and his band Sinkane, David Byrne of Talking Heads, Money Mark of the Beastie Boys, Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange and Lightspeed Champion), Alexis Taylor (of Hot Chip), Charles Lloyd and Amadou and Mariam.
This really is some of the most influential names in modern music and just shows how much William Onyeabor was respected and revered.

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