Juju and highlife musician Fatai Rolling-dollar died at Age 88 at a specialist hospital in surulere, Lagos state, south west Nigeria.
The singer died early Wednesday morning from respiratory failure after spending over three weeks in the hospital.
According to family members, the ‘wan mere si number wa’, crooner took ill in the united state of america where he had gone to perform. He left the shores of the country on march 17 this year and returned ill after two months.
The multi-instrumentalist who is best known for his popular comeback to mainstream recognition after years of obscurity during his over 60 years musical career, is survived by two wives and many children and grand children.
The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola has expressed sadness on the passage of highlife icon, Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju saying the loss of the musical innovator would reverberate around the musical world and beyond.
In a condolence letter to Funmilayo Olagunju, the widow of the late musician popularly known as Fatai Rolling Dollar, Governor Fashola said he was a first rate guitarist under whose tutelage several other musical legends learnt to play the instrument. ‘’Your husband was a musical innovator who made a great contribution to the profile of Nigerian Highlife music on the global stage,’’ he said.
According to the Governor, Rolling Dollar is assured of his place amongst the pantheon of Nigerian musical greats with hits like ‘Won Kere si Number Wa’ and ‘Saworo’ enduring in the memory of generations to come.
‘’Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s it was impossible to escape the presence of this iconic genius across Lagos. I am pleased and gratified that in the latter part of his life Lagos State was able to reacquaint itself once again with his singular talents,’’ he said.
While praying for the peaceful repose of the soul of the departed musician, Governor Fashola urged the family to find succour and comfort in the love of the legion of fans that admired your Fatai Rolling Dollar’s work.