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Ethiopia holds state funeral for ‘legendary’ vocalist Tilahun Gessesse



  10:55:40 am, by admin   , 615 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Ethiopia holds state funeral for ‘legendary’ vocalist Tilahun Gessesse

Ethiopia holds state funeral for ‘legendary’ vocalist Tilahun Gessesse

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Ethiopia is hosting a state funeral for its “legendary” artist with thousands of people gathered at the Mesquel Square in Addis Ababa for the ceremony.

It is the first such state funeral in Ethiopia’s history.

The “legendary” artist, Tilahun Gessesse, who passed away, last Sunday, was Ethiopia’s vocalist who was on stage for the past 50 years.

Since his death last Sunday, Ethiopian national radio and television as well as the FM stations and local newspapers have been giving a wide coverage about his works.

On Thursday, the farewell ceremony started at his home, and his body was brought for the farewell ceremony at Mesquel Square in Addis Ababa where several people were already gathered to pay their last respects to Ethiopia’s most respected musician.

The farewell ceremony was accompanied with military march and with a flower laying ceremony.

Tilahun Gessesse, 68, passed away late on Sunday within hours of his arrival from the United States for the Ethiopian Easter celebrations.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the state president Girma Woldegiorgisse sent their condolence messages to the ceremony in which they expressed their appreciations to the vocalist for his hard work in promoting Ethiopian music.

All national radio and television stations suspended their daily news programs and were giving live broadcast oh his funeral ceremony, taking place at the Trinity Church in Addis Ababa.

According to his life history read out at the farewell ceremony, Gessesse has over 400 songs touching on love, social and national affairs, among other issues.

In appreciation of his contribution to Ethiopian music, Tilahun received an honorary doctorate degree from Addis Ababa University three years ago. He has also received an award for his lifetime achievements from the Ethiopian Fine Art and Mass Media Prize Trust.

“Although today is a sad day for Ethiopia, but we cannot say Gessesse has died. He is alive with us with his unforgettable works,” said an artist

International media continue to report on the death of Tilahun Gessesse


International media, including the BBC and Washington Post, continue to report on the death and funeral of the late Tilahun Gessesse.

Ethiopian great singer Tilahun Gessesse died on Sunday night at the age of 68.

“One news story called him the ''Ethiopian Pavarotti,"…, said a report by The Washington Post quoting early reports which compared Tilahun with the late Italian singer Luciano Pavarotti, one of most commercially successful tenors of all time who used to singing with voice above baritone.

The Washington Post report said, “He was sometimes known as Tlahoun Gessesse, and a New York Times reveiwer in 1998 described his early 1970s records as "alive with the trebly, scratching, rhythm guitars, punching horn sections and James Brown-style drum rhythms that were flooding the world. Except that he was Ethiopian, his songs used Arabic and Eastern scales and his bands were state-run institutions.”

The reviewer, Ben Ratliff, continued: "His voice slips from a gargled upper-middle register to a yodel or a shriek, and flutters through a weave of scale notes, muezzin-style; sometimes he pauses between phrases, aware of his power, and lets out a chuckle," the report added.

According to the BBC, Tilahun had been the most dominant figure in Ethiopian music for more than half a century.

Related Links

Ethiopia Mourns Treasured Singer at State Funeral (VOA)

Tilahun Gessesse, Ethiopia's greatest singer of all time, dies

የኢትዮጵያ የሙዚቃ ንጉሥ ተለየን (Ethiopian Musicians in North America)

እስትንፋስህ ተገታ: (By Abraham Solomon)

ከተለየኸን. ደህና ሁን! (By Kuchiye)

Tilahun Gesesse: What an End of an Era (By Fekade Shewakena)









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Comment from: Aba Kurat [Visitor]
Aba Kurat

He deserves this kind of respect as he is the father of Ethiopian music.

04/23/09 @ 11:10
Comment from: ZD [Visitor]

Why death cannot be dead, at least for your sake?
“Mot Enkuan Chekene”

04/23/09 @ 11:16
Comment from: Cubaya [Visitor]

Bible say, “ If you lose someone you love, you have to pray for his soul forgiveness Every night “.
Tilahun shall will stay in heaven

04/23/09 @ 11:16
Comment from: M.T. [Visitor]

God Bless Tilahun!

I am humbled to see Ethiopian multitude came out to say ‘good bye’ to their beloved singer and citizen.

I am humbled to see the state to organize a state funeral, to one of Ethiopia’s most respected sons!

Thanks to all Ethiopian for mourning together!

United we win!

Oh God, Give strength to Tilahun’s family!
The memory of Tilahun will live on!


04/23/09 @ 11:23
Comment from: Aschillegn [Visitor]

Farewell my BELOVED!

It is in deed a sad day. Rest in Peace Tilie!!!

Your voice will live forever in our hearts.

May God Put Your Soul next to all the Tsadkanas!!

04/23/09 @ 11:28
Comment from: Shewa Anbessa [Visitor]
Shewa Anbessa

Of all his songs..these are the best in the life of millions Ethiopians and me.

1 Hulumbe hager new
2 ye 13 wer tsega
3 ye hiwpte hiwot
Arbi hinchesu hin dabatamale shole yenach tela (2x)

Ani sindesu nabadame shole…..
mekot as shagee yaa Walaladama.
6 Web abeba
7 Monaliza
8 Mewdeden lingerish
9 Salamaka
10 Japanawan wedije
11 Felige Asfeliga and much more

May God rest your soul in peace ! Dear Honuorabil Dr .Tilahun Gessesse
and we will thank God about you !

My condolence to his family and people of Ethiopia.


04/23/09 @ 11:29
Comment from: Halafi Mengedi [Visitor]
Halafi Mengedi

When you do the right thing for your people and country, the country is always behind you regardless of religion and ethnic groups. I hope our PM learns from this outpouring love and respect to Tilahun Gessesse.

Tilahun Gessess became default hero of Ethiopia due to the lack of true Ethiopian hero leaders to navigate from the problems Ethiopia is in.

04/23/09 @ 11:30
Comment from: tiyobst [Visitor]

he was such a wonderful man
i feel deeply sad. May his soul rest in peace what can we do more there is turn for all of us .
My heart goes on to his friend and his family at this very sad time

04/23/09 @ 11:31
Comment from: Abeba Teshale [Visitor]
Abeba Teshale

I wish I was there attending the funeral of the legendary Tilahun Gessese with my people! I respectfully bow down to the car that carries his body even if I am far away from that place…

04/23/09 @ 11:32
Comment from: HANN [Visitor]

ENA should not have referred to The Washington Post. The reporter who wrote in The Washington Post is amazingly ignorant of what Tilahune means to us and the abilities of Tilahune. The ENA reporter should have seen the comments made by the Ethiopians there.

04/23/09 @ 11:42
Comment from: Jegna [Visitor]

RIP Ethiopia’s Frank Sinatra!

04/23/09 @ 11:44
Comment from: Jam [Visitor]

leave your condolence message

04/23/09 @ 12:03
Comment from: a.t. [Visitor]

Rest in PEACE!

04/23/09 @ 12:04
Comment from: wondu gizaw [Visitor]
wondu gizaw

my hero the people hero your the real ethiopian ever live feed the poor stand for ur people in evrey front any person can say ethiopia meant you my hero RIP

04/23/09 @ 12:06
Comment from: AGB [Visitor]

Tilahun cannot be forgotten by us.
He has served his nation for five decades in three different regimes facing diffuclt situations.
In fact, it wont be an exagerration to call him a hero of Ethiopia !

04/23/09 @ 12:06

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