Prince Josiah Adekunle, one of the pioneers of Juju music, died Saturday morning in Lagos, aged 75. Two among his children-Omolara and Mary Adekunke confirmed his death and gave fitting tributes on the Facebook’s walls.
Until his death, General Adekunle was a major innovator and force in the Juju music scene, with his distinctive driving Juju music style.
He was known to have discovered and mentored some leading Juju musicians such as Sir Shina Peters, Segun Adewale and Dayo Kujore.
Although he toured in England in the early 1970s, he did not become well-known outside Nigeria.
In the course of his career, Prince Adekunle ran into troubled water as he was arrested in the United States of America on drug related offence.
He claimed he was traveling to seek medical attention for his eye problem when a friend he simply called Alhaji asked him to help him (Alhaji) with one of his luggage to the US.
“I had never seen drug in my life. What he (Alhaji) told me was that I should carry the luggage and that he would reward me very well. I thought it was just a normal luggage because I was going to seek medical attention for my eye trouble,” Prince Adekunle said in a 2012 interview.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but after two years, a group of lawyers came to his aid upon discovery that he was not aware that a friend actually hide a drug in his luggage on the way out of the country.
He was released but back in Nigeria, the anti-narcotics agency also detained him briefly.
When he regained freedom, he tried to find his feet in the music industry but remained a tough call till he breathed his last earlier today.
Adekunle was born October 22, 1942 and he hailed from Abeokuta, Ogun State.