Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala passes away

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Founder of Grammy Award-winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala has passed away at the Life Eugene Marais Hospital in Pretoria.

He has been battling with his health ever since his retirement from the group about five years ago.

Joseph Shabalala was born on 28 August 1941 and was well known for his unique bass vocals.

The group received airplay on Ukhozi FM (then Radio Zulu), which led to a recording contract with Gallo Records in 1970. The group achieved international fame when they collaborated with Paul Simon on his Graceland album in 1986.

The group has scooped five Grammy Awards with the latest as recent as 2018 for Best World Music Album.

In April last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Shabalala at his home. The President at the time remarked that the musician was in good spirits despite his ailing health.