Kenyan-born British folk singer Roger Whittaker has passed away at the age of 87.
Roger is known in Kenya for his 1982 hit song “My Land is Kenya” which celebrates the Kenyan heritage
Arguably, some may take hits at his song over its composition during the colonial era when Native Kenyans were oppressed.
Nevertheless, the singer is globally acclaimed for his whitling skills while singing.
His style of performance skyrocketed him to superstardom over his live takes on TV shows on the BBC.
Roger living in Kenya
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1936 to English parents originally from Staffordshire, England, Whittaker pursued higher education in South Africa after completing two years of national service in Kenya.
The tragic news was shared by his friend, Jesse Waggoner, on Whittaker’s Facebook page on Monday.
Jesse Waggoner stated, “It is with great sadness we share the news of Roger’s passing at age 87. His life, artistry, and legacy have meant so much to so many all over the world.”
Consequently, a family statement and his official website, rogerwhittaker.com, shared that the versatile singer passed away on September 13, 2023.
Additionally, the statement stated he passed on in a hospital in southern France, where he had settled after a career spanning over half a century.
The family statement expressed, “Roger was an iconic artist, a wonderful husband, and father.”
Roger’s music career
With his multilingual approach to singing, “He touched so many hearts with his music throughout his life and will always live on in our memories.”
Among his other notable hits were songs like “Durham Town,” “The Last Farewell,” The Skye Boat Song” featuring Des O’Connor and the singer’s iconic whistle performance.
Roger Whittaker’s website noted that he had sold nearly 50 million records worldwide and received 250 platinum, gold, and silver awards during his illustrious career before retiring to France in 2012.
According to news outlets in France, Whittaker was cremated and buried in a close intimate family ceremony.
Roger Whittaker is survived by his wife Natalie and their five children – Emily, Lauren, Jessica, Guy, and Alexander.
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