Biographies

Osita Osadebe History & Biography

Chief Osita Osadebe
Chief Osita Osadebe

Osita Osadebe Biography. Chief Osita Osadebe was born in March 1936 in the Igbo land of Atani. He came from a lineage of singers and dancers in Igboland. His genre is Highlife, and traditional musical elements. Along with calypso, Samba, bolero, rumba, jazz and waltz were also present in Osadebe’s musical instrumentals. It was in his high school years in Onitsha, a major commercial city near Atani, that Osadebe interest in music began to span.

Osadebe started his career singing at nightclubs in Lagos in the southwestern region of Nigeria. He had been a part of The Empire Rhythm Orchestra, led by E. C. Arinze in which he had learned much of his music skills. A prolific composer, Osadebe released his first ever album in 1958, he did not stop here as he went further to write over 500 songs; half of which were released commercially. After stints with the Stephen Amache Band the Central Dance Band, in around 1964 Osadebe struck out as a bandleader with his group the Sound Makers.

As he became better established, Osadebe’s style matured to include social commentary, similar to, but not as confrontational as the legendary Fela Kuti. Personal trials and tribulations were usually the main topics of his commentaries. Osadebe often extended his tracks for his audiences enjoyment, allowing room for ‘people on the dance floor’ to indulge in the songs. His type of music is intensely rhythmic that one finds it difficult not to move the body whenever his song is being played. It is hypnotic and mesmerizing which keeps one dancing with the rich tone and sounds.

Osadebe succeeded in breaking away from the conventional big band format established by the pioneers of the music, a format that favored melodic progressions that were in the common meter, church hymnal tradition. He succeeded in completely transforming highlife into the call-and-response pattern of African music.

After Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960s, the massive exodus of the eastern peoples of Nigeria (especially the Igbo) out of western Nigeria had caused the death of the Highlife’s prominence in the then capital, Lagos. During the war and after the war Osadebe maintained his scheduled live performances. Jùjú music and later Afrobeat took precedence in Lagos, and in the 1970s James Brown and various other music forms became popular in the city. In this same decade, Osadebe’s career had reached its peak. After turning 50 in 1986, Osadebe started to give priority to fatherhood and gave more of his time to his son Obiora and his other children from his wives. One of Osita Osadebe’s last album’s is Kedu America.

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Osita Osadebe died in St. Mary’s Hospital Waterbury, Connecticut on 11 May 2007 after suffering from severe respiratory difficulties.

Osadebe Biography and Early Life


in 1960 He interrupted his Music Career and Studied economics In Soviet Union Until 1962 . His parents name was Dennis Obi Osadebe and Iyom Nwanjiego – Uzoka Osadebe. During The Nigerian Civil – War, He temporarily fled to the South of the Country, but was able to Continue his Career Successfully. He got the Nickname ” The Doctor of Hypertension ” after His 1981 album Onu Kwulunjo was Recorded. His Music combines the West Africa Music Style Highlife with musical forms of the Igbo people from Nigeria. In addition to grip percussion, guitars and wind Instruments dominate his music.

Occasionally Saxophone Solos can also be heard . He also integrated Rhythms such also Merengue and Rumba into his Music. Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe often Stretched the length of his Songs to give Listener more time to dance. He himself described his music with following words: ‘” Two Personalities greatly respected and Sought – after during those highlife days – The Vocalist and guitar player. The Guitarist provided palm Wine Chords Which held the Orchestra together and also indulged in interminably long guitar Solos that kept Dancers on the floor long periods of time”.

He was the first to include Critical elements in His famous Album Osondi Owendi which was the most Successful song ever released in Nigeria. In the late 1980’s Osadebe Withdrew Increasingly from the music Business. In 1995 he went on his first tour in the USA. His album ” Kedu America” from 1996 was Considered one of his best albums. In Nigeria especially among the igbo people, He Osadebe is regarded is and Idol and ” Elder Statesman” Of Highlife Music. The State honored Osita Osadebe with the award “Officer of Order” of the Niger (OON). The Performing Musicians Of Nigeria named him the Best Highlife artist of the Year in 1988. In Addition, to his music career, He Married 5 Women at the same time, and had Seven or more Children with them and also ran his Own Hotel.

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