King of coupé-décalé
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The famous Ivoirian singer, known for his “coupé-décalé” dance music, died in a traffic accident on 12 August at the age of 33. A video shared on social media showed him driving his motorbike and smashing into a car. Thousands of fans gathered in front of the hospital Abidjan's Cocody suburb singing, "Arafat cannot die." The bad news provoked a whirlwind of commemorations in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa and beyond. A national funeral ceremony organised on 30-31 August at the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny stadium in Abidjan brought together more than 100 000 fans to pay tribute to the coupé-décalé star. “It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Ange Didier Houon “DJ Arafat," a youth icon and ambassador of Ivorian music and culture. I present my sincere condolences to his family and all his fans,” declared President Alassane Ouattara. Born in 1986 in Abidjan, Ange Didier grew up in a musical family. His mother was a well-known singer and his father was a sound engineer. He started his career as a DJ in Yopougon, an Abidjan district known for its nightlife. He developed the coupé-decalé style (meaning "cut and run") emphasising that young people still wanted to have fun despite the conflict. The king of the coupé-decalé had a massive audience in French-speaking West and Central Africa. He was elected "Best Artist of the Year" at the Ivorian "Coupe-decalé" Awards in 2016 and 2017. He issued 11 albums with many hits receiving several millions of views on YouTube, and was known for his provocative talk.