Nigerian highlife musician, Victor Olaiya, died on Wednesday at 89 years. Olaiya’s death was confirmed by the Managing Director of the Evergreen Music Company Limited, Bimbo Esho.
She released a statement which read in part, “The entire music world wish to announce the death of a legend of highlife music – one of the last man standing, the last of the originals, Dr Victor Olaiya, OON.
“This untimely incident happened at LUTH, Lagos State, at exactly 12 noon.”
“We pray that the doyen of highlife music finds repose with the creator while wishing the family and entire music community the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.”
Olaiya performed at state balls in Lagos for Queen Elizabeth II and with Louis Armstrong. He was a former president of the Nigerian Union of Musicians. Olaiya was most prolific in the 1960s, releasing numerous singles which were reissued many times over the years. In 2012, Nigeria celebrated his more than 60 years on stage at Lagos City Hall.