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'Your Music Will Live On': Kenya-Born Renowned Folk Singer Roger Whittaker Dies Aged 87

CC BY-SA 4.0 / Markku Lepola / Photograph of the British vocalist Roger Whittaker.
Photograph of the British vocalist Roger Whittaker. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 19.09.2023
Whittaker sold nearly 50 million records around the world, according to his website, and proceeded to receive 250 platinum, gold and silver awards during his career, before retiring to France in 2012.
The Kenyan-born British folk singer and writer of such hit songs as Durham Town, The Last Farewell and My Land is Kenya, has died at the age of 87, his friend, Jesse Waggoner said on Facebook.*

"It is with great sadness we share the news of Roger's passing at age 87. His life, artistry and legacy has meant so much to so many all over the world," Waggoner posted on Whittaker's Facebook page.

Whittaker's death came just a month after his page posted that he had fallen ill and had gone to the hospital. The artist reportedly passed away at home in France after failing to survive a stroke.
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Whittaker is recognized among Kenyan folk and country music fans for his composition My Land is Kenya, in which he professes his genuine affection and bond with the country where he was born and raised.
"My land is Kenya, right from your highlands to the sea
You'll always stay with me here in my heart, here in my heart," he sang.
In the wake of the musician's passing, netizens recall his work, his profound lines, as well as the significance of the hit about his African homeland.

"The great Roger Whittaker has passed on at 87. He was a great music ambassador for the nation with his hit song 'My Land Is Kenya'," one user posted on X.

Another user wrote: "Roger Whittaker aka Roger Waithaka. Your song 'My Land Is Kenya' united us and was a clarion call. Your voice did justice to the lyrics."
"My heartfelt condolences on the passing of the legendary country music singer, Roger Whittaker. Who's contribution to the music industry will be forever cherished. Born in Kenya, Roger Whittaker's music grazed the souls of millions worldwide," a fan tweeted.
"A beautiful voice silenced," another post read. "Your music will live on."
Whittaker was reportedly cremated and buried in a private ceremony. He is survived by his wife Natalie and their five children.
* Meta (Facebook, Instagram) is banned in Russia over extremist activities