We would like to extend our condolences on the passing of Joseph Shabalala who was the founder of the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Ulale ngoxolo Tata ugqatso lwakho ulufezile. #RIPJosephShabalala [Photo: Flicker: Seth Gordon] pic.twitter.com/Sazg9hoWew— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) February 11, 2020
BREAKING: World-renowned isicathamiya musician and Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder, Bab' Joseph Shabalala has died. Under his leadership, his group has won 4 Grammys and carved a legacy in the music industry locally and abroad.— SAMRO (@SAMROMusic) February 11, 2020
Condolences to his family and industry colleagues. pic.twitter.com/rfYSwrks74
Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder, Joseph Shabalala has sadly passed away.
The founder of the multiple Grammy award-winning group passed away on February 11 in a hospital in Pretoria after being ill for quite some time.
Shabalala was known for his unique "Isicathamiya" sound that was celebrated worldwide.
His group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo which he started in the early 1960s after finding interest in Isicathamiya harmonies is the first South African musical group to win multiple Grammys. Their first Grammy award came from their first worldwide release, "Shaka Zulu", which dropped in 1988.
The Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with numerous artists from around the world, including Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge and many others.
However, in 2014, Shabalala retired and passed the leadership torch to his sons Thulani, Sibongiseni, and Thamsanqa Shabalala who have been part of the group since 1993.
For over 50 years, Shabalala has led Ladysmith Black Mambazo to greener pastures and this is how South Africans remember him now that he's passed on.