Roger Whittaker: Folk singer known for ‘My Land is Kenya’ dead at 87

Roger Whittaker: Folk singer known for ‘My Land is Kenya’ dead at 87

The cover image of Kenyan-born British folk singer Roger Whittaker's 'Sincerely Yours' album.

Kenyan-born British folk singer Roger Whittaker, famous for his 1982 hit song ‘My Land is Kenya’ has died aged 87.

Whittaker was also known for the 1971 hits ‘The Last Farewell’ and ‘New World in the Morning’. According to his biography, he sold over 50 million records worldwide.

He was born in Nairobi on March 22, 1936. His parents hailed originally from Staffordshire in England: his father came from a family of grocers; his mother was a teacher, his biography says.

The multi-lingual singer studied medicine after doing national service in Kenya and while studying for his degree, he sang in local clubs and wrote his own songs.

”The music of East Africa left a mark on Roger's childhood,” the biography adds.

He eventually dropped his medical course after 18 months and moved to the University of Bangor in Wales in 1959 to pursue teaching.

It was in Wales where Whittaker started composing music. He soon got airplay while he was still a student and TV work followed.

Whittaker found great success in England, South Africa and the USA, and in the 1970s, he became particularly popular in Germany.

After successful tour tours across Ireland, Canada, Scandinavia and Germany, he retired with his wife Natalie in France in 2012.

The German website Bild reports that the singer was cremated on Saturday. He is survived by five children and twelve grandchildren.


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