Orlando Julius, a legendary Nigerian highlife musician, died at the age of 79. The Managing Director of Evergreen Music, Bimbo Esho, confirmed his death, writing that the deceased’s wife informed her of his demise in the early hours of Friday, April 15.
While reporting Orlando Julius’ death in her eulogy, Esho wrote: “Bimbo, Daddy has passed On… This was the message I came across after waking up at 3 a.m. to check my WhatsApp… Lady Latoya, Orlando Julius’ gorgeous and loving wife, had written me a note.
“At the age of 79, Orlando Julius, a native of Ijebu Ijesha, succumbed to the chilly grip of death and lived his last few hours.” We will mourn one of Nigeria’s Afro/Highlife music’s founding fathers, a gentleman and a brilliant saxophonist. May daddy Orlando Julius’ soul travel safely. May God provide the Ekemode family the strength to bear this precious loss.”
JOrlando Julius was born in 1943 to a merchant family in Ikole, Nigeria, under British colonisation. Julius’ mother was his first music teacher, as she would sing and dance as he played the drums.
After dropping out of school following the death of his father, he moved to Ibadan to seek a career as a musician in 1957.