Tabu Ley Rochereau
Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi Tabu (13 November 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 Mobutu, 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. His musical career ran parallel to the other great Congolese rhumba bandleader and rival Franco Luambo Makiadi who ran the band TPOK Jazz throughout the 1960s, 1970s and '80s.
During his career, Tabu Ley composed up to 3,000 songs and produced 250 albums. In 2023, Rolling Stone ranked him at number 178 on its list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time.
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