Roger Whittaker, a Kenyan-born songwriter who sang the popular 1982 'My Land is Kenya' is dead at the age of 87 years.
United Kingdom's media reported that Whittaker died on Monday, September 18, after a short illness.
In Kenya, leaders, including former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, have mourned the death of the legendary singer-songwriter, noting that his songs marketed Kenya abroad.
Kalonzo mourned Whittaker as a musician whose songs brought to life a mix of folk, country, and popular styles, as he was known for his baritone singing voice and whistling ability.
The Wiper Party Leader noted that Whittaker was a beloved singer and songwriter whose music touched the lives of millions of people around the world.
He noted that Whittaker was a true entertainer, and his legacy will continue to live on through his music.
"The over 60 million records sold worldwide over a career spanning more than 40 years, is a testament to Whittaker's gift and appeal. So too is his expert whistling," Kalonzo stated.
"Whittaker often spoke of how much Kenya's wonderful drumming and infectious rhythms greatly influenced his songwriting. His 1982 record titled 'A Musical Safari - My Land Is Kenya' captivatingly celebrated this connection. But everybody lives in one place where he was born."
Whittaker was born in Nairobi, Kenya, to English parents. He grew up in Kenya and South Africa, where he learned to play guitar and sing.
He began writing his own songs in his early teens, and by the time he was in his twenties, he was performing professionally in clubs and coffeehouses.
In 1965, Whittaker moved to the United Kingdom to pursue a career in music. He quickly gained a following with his warm vocals and catchy melodies.
His first hit single, "Durham Town," was released in 1966 and reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.
Whittaker went on to release a string of successful albums and singles in the UK and around the world. Some of his most popular songs include "New World in the Morning," "The Last Farewell," "Morning Has Broken," and "I Don't Believe in If Anymore."
Whittaker was also a popular live performer. He toured extensively throughout his career, and his concerts were often sellouts.
He was known for his engaging stage presence and his ability to connect with his audience.
Whittaker retired from music in 2012. He died on Monday, September 18, 2023, at the age of 87.
- . . .