The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) is mourning the death of the veteran Nigerian musician, Chris Ajilo.
He was 91.
The ‘Eko O Gba Gbere’ crooner died in his Ijebu-Ijesha hometown in Osun on Saturday, after a brief illness.
The chairman of COSON, Tony Okoroji, in a statement, while paying tribute to the highlife veteran, said that Nigeria had lost an irreplaceable music icon.
“I worked with the great Chris Ajilo in so many endeavours. In each case, his dedication, humility, and contributions were first class.
“He was a member of my Executive Council in the golden years of PMAN. He was also the General Manager of Performing & Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS) while I was the chairman.
“There is no doubt that Chris Ajilo laid the foundation stone on which COSON was built.
“While he had retired before the transition of PMRS to COSON, he remained an unflinching member of COSON.
“He was attending and participating actively in every major event of the society and giving total support toward the progress of COSON.
“In 2017, when Lagos State celebrated 50 years of the creation of Nigeria’s most vibrant state, Ajilo’s music: ‘Eko O Gbagbere’ was chosen as the iconic song that captured the essence of Lagos, its spirit, and the beauty of its people.
“Lagos went for the song that year. Decade after decade, the song has become the anthem of Lagos. ‘Eko O Gbagbere’ was composed in the early 60s by the master musician, Chris Ajilo.
“He was the man who led the Independence Band at the Federal Palace Hotel in 1960.
“He was the people’s saxophonist, a music teacher by calling, artiste and a repertoire manager with a difference, a producer of numerous hit songs and numerous hit artistes and the quintessential copyright man.
“On November 5, 2017 at the COSON Song Awards at Eko Hotel, the music industry and many lovers of music stood up to celebrate the anthem of Lagos, ‘Eko O Gbagbere’.
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“This evergreen song will never die and so also the creative genius behind the song, the master musician, Chris Ajilo.
“The warm spirit of Chris Ajilo will be missed. His support (for) budding artistes will be missed. The sweet-sweet sound of his saxophone will be missed.
“His total commitment to music will be missed. His dedication to the copyright cause will be missed.
“Yes, all of us on the Board, membership, management and staff of COSON will miss the irreplaceable Chris Ajilo.”
Until his retirement in 2007, as General Manager of the Performing and Mechanical Right Society, (PMRS) of Nigeria, Mr Ajilo was a force to be reckoned with in the music industry
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