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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.
Fuji has been described as jùjú without guitars; ironically, Ebenezer Obey once described jùjú as mambo with guitars.
However, a few performers kept the style alive, such as Yoruba singer and trumpeter Victor Olaiya (the only Nigerian to ever earn a platinum record), Stephen Osita Osadebe, Sonny Okosun, Victor Uwaifo, and Orlando "Dr.
Ganja" Owoh, whose distinctive toye style fused jùjú and highlife.
During the same period, other highlife performers were reaching their peak.
These included Rocafil Jazz and Prince Nico Mbarga, whose "Sweet Mother" was a pan-African hit that sold more than 13 million copies, more than any other African single of any kind.