Nigerian iconic highlife singer Victor Olaiya has passed on at the age of 89.
As reported by The Nation, Olaiya’s death was announced by his record label Evergreen Music in an official statement which stated that the music legend died around noon on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
Though the cause of his death was not given.
“The entire music world wishes to announce the death of a Legend of Highlife music, One of the last man standing, the last of the original Dr. Victor Abimbola Olaiya OON,” Evergreen Music Company said as reported by The Nation.
“We pray that the soul of the Doyen of highlife music finds repose with his creator while wishing the family and entire music community the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss,” the statement reads.
Victor Abimbola Olaiya was born on December 31, 1930 in Calabar, Cross River State, and was the 20th child of a family of 24. He was well known with the musical instrument, the trumpet, which he used to rule the airwaves in the 1950s and early 1060s with his Ghanaian-inspire highlife genre.
He is the voice behind two of highlife’s classic tracks ‘Baby Jowo’ and ‘Omo Pupa’.
The nation has been in a state of mourn over Olaiya’s death. Many celebrities have also taken to their individual social media spaces to pay tribute to the iconic trumpeter, with the most notable of them being popular Afrobeats singer, 2Baba.
2Baba took to his twitter page where he expressed his grief over the death of the highlife maestro. He also talked about the pleasure of sharing the same musical stage with him.
Devastated by the news of the passing of Dr. Victor Olaiya – maestro, mentor, legend. Thanks for the beautiful music. Thanks for the inspiration. Blessed for the honour of sharing a mic and stage with you. Rest in peace baba.
— IG: @official2baba (@official2baba) February 12, 2020
Recall that in late July of 2013, 2Baba and Olaiya collaborated to produce the music video remix for ‘Baby Jowo.’
Olaiya is also heralded as the founder of the renowned highlife band, Cool Cat, which was chosen to play at the state ball when Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visited Nigeria in 1956.
He is survived by many wives, children and grandchildren who will be joined by us to miss the great trumpeter.
Photo Credit: Instagram