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Kehinde of Lijadu sisters dies

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Kehinde of Lijadu Sisters musical fame has died. She died on Friday night, aged 71. Her twin sister, Taiwo, broke the news, according to sources.

Kehinde, who was said to have been battling serious cold and cough, reigned as icons, along with her identical sister, on the Nigerian musical scene from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s.

Throughout the period, they performed and recorded as The Lijadu Sisters, fusing Western R&B, soul, reggae and funk, creating honest, politically-charged songs with a matriarchal bent. Aside from being megastars in Nigeria (some liken them to being the West African equivalent of The Pointer Sisters), they toured with King Sunny Ade, Art Blakey, Ginger Baker, and other legends before Kehinde was injured while on tour in the US. In 2011, Knitting Factory Records discovered The Lijadu Sisters were living in New York and sought to re-release a handful of their best albums, including the 1976 album, Danger.

Lijadu Sisters were born in 1948, in Jos, Plateau State, and had their childhood in Ibadan. They came to fame singing in hybrid of Yoruba and English with afrobeat fusion.

The sisters released their first debut single, Iya Mi Jowo, in 1969 under Decca Records. Among their hits were Danger (1976), Sunshine (1978) and Horizon Unlimited (1979).

In 2014, Lijadu Sisters announced their planned comeback, but that dream was never realised. After their last album, Orere Elijigbo, for decades, the singers were out of circulation as sources hinted that they went into religious mode.

About two decades after, they returned to the stage in the U.K and performed with Damon Albarn, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, and Kele Okereke.

Other performances that followed include, ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ together with the Atomic! Bomb Band and proceeded on a tour to New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in May 2014.


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