Legendary Kikuyu benga singer Joseph Kamaru is dead.
Kamaru passed away on Wednesday night while receiving treatment at the MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi.
Confirming his death, his son Stephen Maina said the musician was admitted at the hospital on Monday after developing breathing difficulties. He was aged 79.
"Our dad has gone to be with the Lord while at MP Shah Hospital where we took him on Monday after having difficulties in breathing and having tremors."
"He was diagnosed with Parkinson plus, a nerve disease which we believe is the main cause of his death. But we thank God for giving him to us," Maina told the Nation.
Maina said the celebrated musician started developing health issues at the beginning of this year. In April, the veteran singer trashed reports circulating online that he had passed on.
Born in Kangema, Murang'a County, Kamaru launched his music career in 1956 and will be remembered for his popular hits such as Ndari ya Mwalimu and Tiga kuhenia igoyi which have shaped the Kikuyu culture.
In a statement, President Kenyatta said Kamaru's death is a blow to the Kenyan entertainment industry.
“It was a blessing for us as a country to have had such a talented artiste who played a big role in promoting the Kenyan brand of music. Indeed we will miss his educative music which was unique in many aspects,” said President Kenyatta.
“He recorded nearly 2,000 songs addressing morality and offering life teachings. The songs stamped his status as a Kikuyu music legend who touched the hearts of music lovers with classic hits such as Gathoni and Charia Ungi,” Kenyatta added.