Eric Arubayi, Nigerian gospel artist and finalist at the West African Idols, died on 11 February, after a brief illness, at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Delta State.
His brother, Derrick Arubayi, speaking to a Vanguard reporter about the cause of death, said, “He had malaria and typhoid, which was untreated. It later became worse after he took a medication that had expired and this triggered his liver ailment and afterwards, every other thing just followed at a fast pace before his death."
Arubayi got his big break into the music industry at the West African Idols held in 2007, where he was second runner-up, after Timi Dakolo and Omawumi. Four years after being a finalist on the award show, he released his debut album titled Redefined. The album had eighteen tracks and featured guest appearances by Jesse Jagz and South African singer Sizwe Mawaza.
Eric went on to garner a following among gospel music enthusiasts and was a member of the House on the Rock Church, Lagos, where he led the choir. While speaking about his brother's death, Derrick also said, “The only thing that we had to say is that he lived for Christ. We just want the world to know that the name Eric Odafe Arubayi was for a reason beyond the West Africa Idol show. For that reason, God would make manifest even beyond his glorious ascension.”
He is survived by his wife, Chinonso Erubayi, and their son Jayden.