By Nehru Odeh
Popular Nigerian singer and actor, whose music ruled the air waves in the 2000s, Lanre Fasasi better known as Sound Sultan, is dead.
The 44 year-old multi-talented artiste died of Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma. His demise was announced in a statement by his family on Sunday.
The statement read, “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of multitalented veteran singer, rapper, song writer Olanrewaju Fasasi aka Sound sultan. He passed away at the age of 44 following a hard-fought battle with Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma.
“He is survived by his wife, three children and his siblings. We, his family will appreciate the utmost privacy as we come to grips with the tragic loss.”
Music Producer and Manager, Efe Omoregbe confirmed his demise via a post he shared on instagram.
“Rest in glory, my brother Sound Sultan. You will live forever in our hearts,” he wrote.
It would be recalled that when news of his battle with throat cancer broke in May this year, his family and close associates debunked it, saying that he was in the United States but not down with throat cancer.
“True, he is in America, but not having throat cancer. Sound Sultan will debunk the news himself later. His line isn’t reachable,” one of his associates said.
However, Sultan himself broke his silence and hinted at speculations about his health in an Instagram post to celebrate Eid al-Fitri in May.
He wrote: “Eid Mubarak to my lovely Muslim brothers and sisters. May Almighty Allah accept our fast as an act of Ibadah.”
Commenting on reports about his health, the ‘Jagbajantis’ crooner said “I must not ignore the massive show of love. Thank youall. I will tell you my story myself it will be true then not false.”
The story has indeed turned out to be true, though the multi-lalented artiste did not live to tell it himself.
Born Olanrewaju Abdul-Ganiu Fasasi on November 27, 1976, Sultan was one of the pacesetters of modern hip hop music in Nigeria. The artiste, who attributed his early influence to his elder brother Baba Dee who studied theatre arts, took interest in music, miming at school parties and writing his own lyrics and started learning how to play the guitar after his secondary school education and was in a band by 1999.
However his career in show business started in the 1990s, when he hosted shows to raise money for studio sessions.
He released his first single “Jagbajantis” in 2000, which was a hit in Nigeria. After independently releasing other singles and featuring in hit songs of other artists, he was signed by Kennis Music, under which label he released four albums. By 2007, his contract with the label expired and he partnered with Baba Dee to start a parent organization for a record label, production outfit and clothing line called Naija Ninjas
He married his long-term girlfriend Chichi Morah, now known as Farida Fasasi in 2009 and they had three children.