Nigeria’s highlife music legend, Sir Victor Olaiya, is dead. He passed on at the age of 89, after a brief illness in Lagos on February 12.
Olaiya, whose music has continued to attract both old and young artistes, died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, on Wednesday.
The deceased, who celebrated his 89 birthday last December, was confirmed dead by his label, Evergreen Music Company Ltd.
Its Managing Director Bimbo Esho said;
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 original Dr Victor Abimbola Olaiya OON.
We pray that the soul of the Doyen of highlife music find repose with his creator while wishing the family and entire music community the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.”
Sir Victor Olaiya was a Nigerian trumpeter who genre of music was highlife. Though extremely famous in Nigeria during the 1950s and early 1960s, Olaiya received little recognition outside his native country.
He was once described as “The Evil Genius of Highlife” by Alhaji Alade Odunewu of the Daily Times.
Olaiya was born on 31 December 1930, in Calabar, Cross River State, as the 20th child of a family of 24.
In 2013, renown artist 2face did a remake of his evergreen classic single, “Baby Jowo”, featuring the late Olaiya himself. The remake added a modern day flavor to rejuvenate the classic song, now titled “Baby Mi Da” (Baby Mi Jowo remix).