Congolese rumba star PAPA WENDO has died at the age of 82.
The world music singer - hailed as the 'Father' of his genre - passed away at a clinic in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Monday (28Jul08) following a long battle with illness.
Wendo - born Antoine Wendo Kolosoy - began a career as a boxer in the 1940s, before turning his passion for singing into a profession and making his first record in 1948.
He rose to international fame in the 1950s with the song Marie Louise, but it was condemned by Catholic church officials, who claimed the track had satanic powers and he was briefly jailed.
The star quit playing music for several years during the 1960s, after the murder of his friend and the country's first legally elected prime minister, Patrice Lumumba in 1961.
However, he returned to the music industry in 1997 and relaunched his recording and touring career.
His life story even inspired a documentary called On the Rumba River, which was made by French filmmaker Jacques Sarasin and released last month (Jun08).