16 Nov 2015

Biography of Stephen Osita Osadebe

Osita Osadebe
Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe was born in March, 1936 and died on May 11, 2007. He was popularly known as just Osadebe in his life time. Osadebe was an Igbo Nigerian highlife musician. He is a
native of Atani in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Nigeria. He was the  leader in the highlife genre ever in Nigeria.

Osadebe is classified in the line of singers and dancers in Nigeria. His genre, Highlife encompassed Igbo musical elements along side calypso, samba, bolero, rumba, jazz and waltz.

Osadebe developed interest in music career when he was in high school in Onitsha, a major commercial city near his home town Atani. He joined The Empire Rhythm Orchestra, led by E. C. Arinze, where learned much of his music skills.

When he left the high school, Osadebe started his career officially when he was 23 years old, performing at nightclubs in Lagos to the extent that he was nicknamed ‘Doctor of Hypertension' by music critics and fans alike. 

Osadebe played with Stephen Amache Band for a while, then continued his career with the Central Dance Band. In the year 1958, Osadebe released his first album. In 1964 he started his own band, Soundmakers International. Osadebe spends most of his time playing highlife music; consequently, he is considered to be one of the top highlife musicians. 

In 1981, Osadebe was awarded a gold disc for the LP Onu Kwulonjo. By the mid-'80s, Osadebe  was at the height of his career selling over 700,000 records with his hit album Osondi Owendi. 

In the course of his entire music career Osadebe wrote over 500 songs out of which about half were released commercially.

During the Nigerian Civil War and even after the war, Osadebe continued his live performances.

Osadebe died in St. Mary's Hospital Waterbury, Connecticut on May 11, 2007 after suffering from severe respiratory disease.


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