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Legendary Somali artist dies of COVID-19 in UK

Ahmed Ismail Hussein, 92, had moved to London in 90s during Somali civil war

AA   | 08.04.2020
Legendary Somali artist dies of COVID-19 in UK


Somali musical pioneer Ahmed Ismail Hussein has passed away in London after being infected with coronavirus, it was announced on Wednesday. He was 92.

“Today the Somali community around the world has lost a hero - Ahmed Ismail Hussein Hudeydi - one of the founding fathers of modern Somali music lost to COVID19. I am utterly devastated,” UK-based researcher Haana Ali tweeted.

“The Kayd Somali Arts and Culture family are deeply saddened by the passing of Ahmed Ismail Hussein ‘Hudaeydi’- one of the greatest Somali musicians of all time."

Ali, who is a director at the Kayd arts organization, said Hussein, also known as Hudeydi, had moved to London in the early 90s during the Somali civil war, and his home was a cultural hub for all artists and young people.

Born in 1928, Hudeydi spent his childhood and teenage years in Yemen’s city of Aden. He later returned to Somaliland, where, according to Ali, “he changed the face of Somali music forever.”

The virus has claimed nearly 83,000 lives in 184 countries or regions, according to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center. At least 1.44 million people have been infected.

In the U.K, about 56,000 people have tested positive whereas 6,171 have died.

The country's prime minister, Boris Johnson, is in intensive care after his COVID-19 symptoms worsened.

Secretary of State Dominic Raab is running the affairs of the government until Johnson recovers.

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