Mohbad, Dagrin, MC Loph, Sound Sultan and 8 Musicians Whose Deaths Shook Nigeria
The Nigerian music industry has lost several stars in the past years to the cold hands of death.
Painfully, most of these music stars died when their careers were still taking shape.
Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, popularly known as MohBad is the latest Nigerian music star to take the fall.
The former Malian Record Signee died under mysterious circumstances at the young age of 27.
A terse statement on Mohbad’s Twitter account by his management read;
”It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Promise Oladimeji Aloba PK/A Mohbad (Imole) today, the 12th of September, 2023.
“Mohbad was light until the very end, and as we mourn the loss of the brightness he carried, the family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time. Imole is finally at Peace”
The rapper only garnered as much attention any star would be proud of following the announcement of his death.
The circumstances behind his death has attracted calls for proper investigation from the police with #JusticeForMohbad becoming a trending topic on social media.
Several cities within and outside Nigeria held candlelight processions and protests in heightening the call for the police to unravel the cause of Mohbad’s death.
But before Mohbad, let’s look at music stars whose death shook Nigeria.
Attributed with the birth of Yoruba rap, Oladapo Olaonipekun, popularly called Dagrin died on April 22, 2010 in an auto crash.
Dagrin rammed his new car, a Nissan Maxima into a truck parked in front of the Alakara Police Station in Mushin, Lagos State, on April 14, 2010, and was taken to two hospitals for treatment. Unfortunately, he died after eight days in a coma as a result of the car accident.
Dagrin gained limelight with his hit song “Pon Pon Pon” died at the age of 25.
His death was received with widespread shock and is often described as one of the prominent tragedies in the Nigerian music industry.
Dagrin led the way for indigenous rap and was in the spotlight before the likes of Olamide, Reminisce, Ycee, CDQ, Ladipoe, Falz, Chinko Ekun, and others.
Olamide has severally referenced Dagrin in his songs and has never failed to express his regard for the late rapper.
Dagrin is famous for hit singles such and Pon pon pon, Ghetto Dream, Thank God, Kondo, among many others.
Obareki Don Momoh, best known for her stage name, Kefee, was a Nigerian gospel singer who gained prominence with her hit single, Branama.
Kefee died on February 12, 2014 a the age of 34.
The gospel star reportedly fell into a coma aboard a flight to Chicago, United States of America.
The plane made an emergency landing as Kefee was rushed into the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital in Los Angeles.
Until her death, Kefee won several accolades including the International Young Ambassador for Peace Award in 2009.
For her Kokoroko collaboration with Timaya, Kefee won the 2010 Headies Awards for Best Collaboration.
Though it was highly believed that Kefee died with a six month pregnancy, her UK management denied the claims.
Adeline Adelicious Adebayo, Kefee’s UK Manager, said:
“On behalf of the family, it is with a sense of great sadness but grateful hearts that we announce the passing to glory due to lungs failure this morning of our God’s mouth piece, chorus leader, daughter, wife, sister, friend Kefee Branama Queen … May her beautiful, gentle and precious soul rest in perfect peace. AMEN!!!
“PS: In contrast to all earlier rumours and stories in circulation, I do state that Kefee wasn’t 6 months pregnant and neither did she have pre-eclampsia.”
Kefee’s death was mourned by the Nigerian music industry in general.
Born Susan Oluwabimpe Harvey on 23 October 1981, Goldie died on February 14, 2013.
She gained prominence with her appearance at the inaugural Big Brother Africa show.
After her time at the reality show, Goldie’s music career took an upward turn with hits Jawo jawo, Don’t touch, Who we are, Point and kill, and Breathe Again.
Her efforts saw her win several African music awards including a Top Naija Music Award.
Goldie had complained of a severe headache shortly hitting Nigeria from the US where she attended the Grammy Awards.
She was rushed into a private hospital in Lagos, but was shortly pronounced dead.
4. MC Loph
Born Obiajulu Nwaozor, MC Loph died on September 2011 following an auto crash along the Benin-Ore road.
MC Loph was a famous for his Igbo rap and gained Nigerians attention with the remix of Osondi Owendi where he featured Flavour.
MC Loph died alongside his elder sister Chinwe, while his fiance survived the crash.
He was on his way to Anambra State to conclude preparations for his traditional marriage scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011.
5. Sound Sultan
Born Olarenwaju Fasasi, Sound Sultan died on July 11, 2021.
According to Dr Kayode Fasasi who announced Sound Sultan’s death on behalf of the family, the Bush Meat crooner died after a long battle with Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma.
Sound Sultan had been diagnosed with throat cancer in May 2021 and underwent chemotherapy in America.
Chemotherapy is an aggressive form of chemical drug therapy meant to destroy rapidly growing cells in the body. It is usually used to treat cancer, as cancer cells grow and divide faster than other cells.
Unlike the others on this list, Sound Sultan died at the twilight of his career at the age of 44.
At his prime, he was known for hits like Jagagbantis, Bush Meat, Orobo, Area, Natural Something and more.
Sound Sultan’s death caused widespread shockwaves as the Nigerian music industry mourned a legend.
6. Rico Swavey
Born Patrick Fakoya, Rico Swavey died on October 15, 2022.
Like Dagrin, the Big Brother Naija Season 3 housemate died after two days in coma following an auto crash.
The reality star was only begining to find his feat in his music career when he died.
7. Ikesima Brown
Renowned Niger Delta high life Queen, Ikesima Brown died on July 17, 2023 in a fatal auto crash along along the Abuja-Lokoja road.
Ikesima died alongside four other crew members of the musical band of Ijaw music legend, Chief Barrister Smooth.
Aside Ikesima Brown, other victims who died in the crash include Joseph Ekeremieye, Tuku Tebekaimi (keyboardist), Hon. Appah Appah, Mariam Amadi (dancer) and the driver of the vehicle.
The highlife queen passed on aged 33.