Kehinde Lijadu, one of the two members of the Lijadu Sisters, a team that “ruled the Nigerian music scene” from the mid-1960s to the 1980s, is dead.
The music star, who is also a cousin to Fela Kuti, late Afrobeat legend, passed away in the early hours of Saturday in New York — after she suffered a severe stroke.
Kehinde was born on September 18, 1948.
She is renowned for her works including ‘Horizon Unlimited’, ‘Danger’, ‘Africa’, and ‘Sunshine’ with a slew of tracks like ‘Reincarnation’, ‘Danger’, and ‘Orere Elejigbo’ alongside Taiwo, her twin sister.
The duo, fondly called the Sisters of Lijadu, were once acclaimed to be West Africa’s version of the Pointer Sisters, a renowned American group of female singers, but gradually started fizzling out after Kehinde suffered spinal cord injuries from a fall at their Brooklyn apartment in the 90s.
Journey well Ìyá Kẹ́hìndé Líjàdú
Courage to you Ìyá Táíwò, courage and strength to you…be assured your Sister takes her place among Our Ancestors.#IbaEgungun #OrisaIbeji #Ibeji #Edun #Edunjobi #LijaduSisters #LijaduTwins pic.twitter.com/ONhpN1mff1
— Ṣeun Kútì and Fẹlá's Egypt 80 (@Egypt80Band) November 10, 2019
As she underwent recovery, the sisters went off the grid until their performance in London and Bristol alongside Damon Albarn, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, and Kele Okereke from Bloc Party, at a concert celebrating the songs of William Onyeabor, a funk music pioneer.
They had spent their childhood in Ibadan; honed their music skills with the influence of family members and legends like Aretha Franklin, Victor Olaiya, and Miriam Makeba; and diced Afrobeat with disco, reggae, funk, and R&B to create a distinct genre.
Lijadu Sisters released ‘Iya Mi Jowo’, their debut single in 1969 and had their first international performance at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, where they performed alongside Ginger Baker, an English drummer and founder of the rock band Cream.
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