Roger Whittaker was born in Kenya to English parents.

Kenyan-born British folk singer-songwriter Roger Whittaker has died at the age of 87.

"His life, artistry and legacy has meant so much to so many all over the world. We are thankful that the gift of his music remains with us," his friend Jesse Waggoner said while announcing the death on Monday.

A family statement said the singer died on September 13 in a hospital in southern France where he settled after retiring.

Whittaker was born in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, to English parents. He is famous in the East African country for his 1982 composition 'My Land is Kenya' that celebrated the beauty and splendor of his country of birth.

My land is Kenya, so warm and wild and free

You'll always stay with me here in my heart

My land is Kenya, right from your highlands to the sea

You'll always stay with me here in my heart, here in my heart

He previously spoke of how the music of East Africa left a mark on his childhood.

"In over 30 years of singing and playing musical sounds - the wonderful drumming, and those marvelous, infectious rhythms - have played a great part in everything I have ever written and sung."

In a tribute, Kenya's Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi said Whittaker's "soothing music touched the hearts of millions worldwide."

"'My land is Kenya' played a significant role in promoting Kenya as a breathtaking tourist destination," he said.

"May he Rest in Peace, he wrote beautiful music with heartfelt lyrics," said former foreign affairs permanent secretary Macharia Kamau.

TRT Afrika