Grammy Award-Winning Founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, Has Died

Feb 11, 2020

The founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo Joseph Shabalala has died. He has passed today, Tuesday,  in Pretoria, South Africa. The band's manager Xolani Majozi said that the 78-year-old was suffering from complications from a spinal surgery that left him wheelchair-bound.

Shabalala was born August 28, 1941 in Ladysmith, South Africa, and was well known for his unique and stirring vocals. The group has won five Grammy awards and traveled the world, putting South Africa’s music scene on the map in an innovative way. Shabalala formed the band in 1960 and led it for more than 50 years.

Here's a treasure from the WNCW Archives. Music Director Martin Anderson talks to Joseph Shabalala at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC - February 2003.