Tabu Ley Rochereau
Tabu Ley Rochereau is one of the crucial forefathers of modern African music, as indicated by his output of over 2,000 songs. His sweet tenor voice was first discovered in church, and he later rose to fame with the orchestra African Jazz, led by the legendary "Le Grand Kalle." In the mid 1960s Rochereau formed L'African Fiesta with Congolese guitar hero Dr. Nico, and they wrote many classics of what was called "rumba." This older form of music, a mix of Congolese, Cuban, and Caribbean elements, gave rise to a new, more energetic style (soukous) which quickly became popular throughout East, West, and Central Africa. In the 1970s Rochereau led his own orchestra, Afrisa, to Europe, where he was recognized as one of the main voices behind this increasingly popular dance music. The many stars that passed through Afrisa, such as M'Bilia Bel and Sam Manwana, secure Rochereau's legacy.