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Eric Moyo, first-ever winner of Idols East Africa, dies at 41

 Zimbabwean gospel artist Eric Moyo. (Courtesy)

Zimbabwean gospel artist Eric Moyo, aged 41, succumbed to a stroke, collapsing on stage during a recent performance in South Africa. 

Moyo, a notable member of Joyous Celebration and the inaugural winner of Idols East Africa, passed away at a hospital in Port Elizabeth after being admitted in the preceding days.

Emerging as a prominent figure on Zimbabwe's A-Academy talent search show in 2006, Moyo secured a top-three finish.

Subsequently, in 2007, he clinched victory in the first edition of Idols East Africa, outshining competitors such as Nicolette Kiiga of Kenya. 

His triumph earned him a substantial US$80,000 cash prize and a recording contract with Sony BMG.

Joyous Celebration, in a released statement, commemorated Moyo's dedication until his untimely demise, emphasizing his vibrant stage presence and unique contributions as a tenor singer.

"As a tenor singer, Eric brought joy to many through his electric performances and unique songs. A snazzy dresser of note. His stage presence was unmatched," noted the statement.

"While we mourn his passing, let's celebrate his life and the impact he had on those around him. Eric may no longer be with us, but his spirit will live on through the beautiful music he created."

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time," the statement continued, acknowledging the profound void left in the Joyous family and the lasting legacy Moyo crafted within the gospel music genre.

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