Chris Ajilo, a veteran Nigerian highlife musician, is dead. The musician passed on at the age of 91. He breathed his last on Saturday 20th February at Wesley Guild Hospital in Ilesha, Osun state.
Michael Odiong, general manager of Premier Music, Ajilo’s record label, confirmed the news of the veteran musician’s death. The GM noted that the diseased only suffered a brief illness before he died.
“He passed away this morning. He was ill briefly. I mean, he’s 91. So, anything could happen at that age,” he said.
Ajilo is popular for tracks like ‘Eko O Gba Gbere’, ‘Ariwo’, ‘Orilonise’, ‘Only You, ‘Tetede’, ‘Ojo Nlo’, and ‘Emi Mimo’.
He is considered one of the last of the generation including the likes of Victor Olaiya and Bobby Benson who formed the Nigerian Union of Musicians, the first guild for musicians.
Ajilo also produced for Polygraph (turned Polygram Records) and worked on several albums, notably Olisa Osadebe’s ‘Osondu Owendi’.
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The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) on Sunday 21st February mourned the death of the veteran musician.
The chairman of COSON, Tony Okoroji, in a statement, while paying tribute to the highlife veteran, said that Nigeria had lost an irreplaceable music icon.
“Nigeria has lost an irreplaceable music icon in the passing to glory of the boundless Chris Ajilo.
I worked with the great Chris Ajilo in so many endeavours. In each case, his dedication, humility and contributions were first class.
He was a member of my Executive Council in the golden years of PMAN. He was also the General Manager of Performing & Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS) while I was the chairman. There is no doubt that Chris Ajilo laid the foundation stone on which COSON was built”. He said
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