another one of us... gone


THE Nigerian music industry has lost its third member in one week.

Even while Sonny Okosuns body is still lying in the mortuary, with practitioners weeping and wailing, another calamity has befallen the community of music-makers

Sammie Needle, a singer, producer and label owner died early this morning at an undisclosed hospital in Lagos.


Needle, who has been running his label SNRC (Sammy Nedle Rhythm and culture) for over a decade, had been ill since last week, and was taking treatment as an out-patient from a hospital close to his home in Ogba, Lagos. A source close to him told me family members are unsure of the exact diagnosis, but that the singer found it difficult to urinate or excrete.


‘He was rushed to the hospital again this morning’, the source said.


It is uncertain where he died exactly, but my source quoted Bluecross hospital, in Ogba, as one of the clinics the late singer received treatment.


No family member could confirm the sad incident as i write. Sammy’s widow Murna, a broadcaster who once worked with NTA, was, understandably,  not picking her calls, while Sammy’s mobile phone hs been switched off. The deceased’s aged parents reside in Edo state; but it is uncertain if they have heard the news of thier son’s death.


Needle’s death, coming at a time when the industry is still mourning the passing of veteran practitioners like Sonny Okosuns and Jossy Olajoyegbe, has thrown the entire industry into confusion, with many expressing deep concern and fear. The whole industry, usually full of pomp, glamour and fanfare, has been enveloped in sorrow and most practitioners have remained inconsolable.



Needle’s former partner Eddy Remedy was shocked to hear about the death. ‘Someone just told me now. It’s a sad thing. I’m performing somewhere now. I’ll head for his house once I leave here’, he told us on phone on Thursday. Eddy lived with Sammy for a while in 2007 after his marriage with KSB packed up. Eddy’s new album was to be released by Needle’s SNRC before they parted ways under controversial circumstances.


Before his death, Needle himself was working on a new album – his first in years. The album project was reportedly being overseen by his label and Atunda records. One of the tracks on the album, as he told me a few months back, was a tribute song to the late Stella Obasanjo, wife of Nigeria’s former head of state who died in 2006. Titled ‘iya wa ti lo’ the song pays tribute to Stella, who died during a tummy-tuck operation. Sammy’s album project was also being supported by Onari Duke, former first lady of Cross rivers state. The late singer was particularly close to the Dukes, and during their tenure as the state’s first family, Sammy and his band performed for them severally – even though he was originally from Edo state.

Born Samuel Odeh, he was a rare vocalist and performer who impressed critics early and established a name for himself when many of his contemporaries were still struggling. He formed his company SNRC in the mid-nineties, got an office in Oshopey Plaza (on Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos) and recruited a first-class team to nurture his career and business. He got his big break when he performed for the Abachas at one of their son’s wedding.


But his career soon nose-dived after his music failed to gain commercial acceptance, and one of his most brilliant associates Soji Dehinde left him. Soji Dehinde himself died few years later.

Sammy stayed underground for many years, battling a fading image, a failing career and facing an uncertain future. But he was no quitter and he told all who cared to listen that he was going to bounce back.

It was only recently that he started putting pieces of his career together, setting up an elaborate studio in his home, and beginning to romance the mainstream again. Few months back, he got another mini spot in the limelight when he got a slot to perform at the burial of the father of ThisDay chairman Nduka Obaigbena. Soon, he was buying a new SUV and romancing the press again.


Married for several years, to Murna Odeh, Sammy batteld hard to save his marriage from crumbling. And it is to the couple’s credit that, in spite of many potholes and pitfalls, their union was standing until he breathed his last. His wife was reportedly by his bedside when he gave up the ghost. Unfortunately, the couple had no child of their own. Murna suffered a miscarriage a few years back, and it is uncertain if she was ever pregnant again after that.




13 Responses to “SAMMY NEEDLE IS DEAD!”

  1. this is getting out of hand O,we were discussing about doing a track together in his nu album when we met in ray power fm some weeks back,sammy needle was so full of life that particular day,also had the priviledge of jammin alongside the great evanelist okosuns twice on the same stage,may my God accept their sweet souls as they rest in peace in Jesus name….it is well.

  2. This is a sad news. coming after the death of the great Sunny Okosun, its a major hit on the Nigerian entertainment world. I , unbehalf of the Ogedengbe’s wish to use this oppurtunity to extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family members. May the good lord grant the family the fortitude to bare the irreparable lost.I will personaly miss Sammy Needle.

  3. sympathy to his loved ones

  4. catherine Says:


  5. WOW
    THis is not the best of times is it?
    We have lost another one of the respected pioneers

    May we keep their memories alive, and never let their legacies die

  6. This should call for sober reflection and i think those in the music industry need to fast and pray o! this harvest of death in the industry must stop and is through prayers o! RIP Sammy

  7. Hmmmm. May their souls rest in peace. Please if any one has materials (especially visuals) on any of these great men that have passed on get in touch with me: Also if you had worked closely with any of them, we would also like to interview you.
    We are, actually, on a project that would show case the bios of the Nigeria’s greats (dead and living) esp. in the entertainment sector. This will surely make their memories linger for generations to come.
    God bless you.

  8. olufemi davies Says:


  9. this is a very sad period for all lovers of music and especially, entertainment world in Nigeria. My sincere sympathy to his family.

  10. stella dimoko-korkus Says:

    May their souls rest in PEACE!

  11. charles baba yemi Says:

    really sad may his gentle soul rest in perfect peace

  12. Its so so sad.But i take a few lessons from this write up that he fought well for his marriage.Lets all learn to make our home work.Sammy may you rest in sweet peace and the Almighty grant your wife anf family comfort for their pain.You’ve made ur mark

  13. tari nosika Says:

    anytime i remember him….i cry profusely…..this was somebody i saw a few days to his death and he was so full of life……i performed at the thisday chairman’s father’s burial in january with him and he was so happy…….he was even planning his album launch where i was supposed to perform on stage with him a few weeks before his untimely death…..i worked with sammy on so many projects including eddie remedy’s album and we were very close…….sammy will always remain in my heart…..all who knew him,knew how jovial he was…..he was full of life and bursting with energy… in peace dear sammy……

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