afrol News, 21 October - Cape Verde's famous singer Ildo Lobo died of a heart attack in Praia, aged only 51 years. The small nation took a tearful and statesman-like goodbye with the Creole singer as civil servants were given the day off to participate in the funeral. Cape Verdeans are mourning, from the political and cultural elite to ordinary citizens and the Diaspora.
Singer Ildo Lobo was one of the major protagonists of Cape Verde's increasingly internationally famous music style. The vocalist of the musical group 'Os Tubarőes', Ildo, as he was called by friends and thousands of admirers, left behind three solo albums, the latest of which is expected to be released in a matter of days, according to reports by Cape Verde's weekly 'A Semana'.
- All of Cape Verde is mourning the death of one its greatest voices, the independent newspaper wrote. The funeral of Ildo took place yesterday afternoon - only hours after his sudden death. The city of Praia gave public employees the afternoon off so that they may pay final homage to the artist, who lived most of his life in Cape Verde's capital city.
Consequently, thousands of people from all walks of life bid a final farewell to Ildo at yesterday's funeral ceremony. The singer was also honoured in the municipal building in a ceremony led by Praia Mayor Felisberto Vieira and Cape Verdean Minister of Culture, Manuel Veiga. Also in the Diaspora, where most Cape Verdeans live, the news of Ildo's death was received with shock and mourning.
- Cape Verdean music, undoubtedly one of the world's most beautiful, has continuously been promoted thanks to its values both in terms of composition and performance, noted José Maria Barreto of the Cape Verdean Ministry of Culture in a statement yesterday. "One of the main contributors to the current phase our music is undergoing was without a doubt Ildo Lobo," who, "with his unmistakable voice, captivated and enthralled all audiences, however demanding they were," the statement went on.
Culture Minister Veiga called the gifted singer "an outstanding performer and prominent man of culture," adding that Ildo belonged to "a generation of musicians and singers that was unsurpassed in singing and interpreting the Cape Verdean soul." The artist had contributed decisively toward the "affirmation and divulgation of our music both here and abroad," Minister Veiga stated.
Cape Verdean President Pedro Pires said that Ildo with his texts and voice had "contributed toward uniting our nation even further." The singer had "conquered one of the most prominent spots in the collective memory of Cape Verdeans," the President added.
The island of Sal, where Ildo Lobo was born, received with consternation the news of the death of its illustrious son, 'A Semana' reports. Sal municipal chamber President Jorge Figueiredo decreed the closing of all municipal activities yesterday and ordered that the municipal flag be flown at half-mast for the next three days.
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