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In 1963, he became the only African musician ever honoured by receiving membership of the Order of the British Empire, an order of chivalry in the United Kingdom. Among the Igbo people, Ghanaian highlife became popular in the early 1950s, and other guitar-band styles from Cameroon and Zaire soon followed. Bobby Benson & His Combo was the first Nigerian highlife band to find audiences across the country.
Benson was followed by Jim Lawson & the Mayor's Dance Band, who achieved national fame in the mid-'70s, ending with Lawson's death in 1976.
Much of this innovation was the work of IK Dairo & the Morning Star Orchestra (later IK Dairo & the Blue Spots), which formed in 1957.
these performers brought jùjú from the rural poor to the urban cities of Nigeria and beyond. Dairo became perhaps the biggest star of African music by the '60s, recording numerous hit songs that spread his fame to as far away as Japan. Mensah, easily the most popular highlife performer of the 1950s, toured Igbo-land frequently, drawing huge crowds of devoted fans.
Fuji grew steadily more popular between the 1960s and '70s, becoming closely associated with Islam in the process.
Fuji has been described as jùjú without guitars; ironically, Ebenezer Obey once described jùjú as mambo with guitars.
Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister started his fuji career in the early 1970s with the Golden Fuji Group," although he had sung Muslim songs since he was 10 years old.
He first changed his group's name to "Fuji Londoners" when he came back from a trip to London, England.
Meanwhile, highlife had been slowly gaining in popularity among the Igbo people, and their unique style soon found a national audience.The result was that highlife ceased to be a major part of mainstream Nigerian music, and was thought of as being something purely associated with the Igbos of the east.Highlife's popularity slowly dwindled among the Igbos, supplanted by jùjú and fuji. The African hemiola style, based on the asymmetric rhythm pattern is an important rhythmic technique throughout the continent.Nigerian music also uses ostinato rhythms, in which a rhythmic pattern is repeated despite changes in metre.