The 54-year-old died on Saturday after he suffered heart failure.
The death came as a surprise to his family as Tshanda was on his way to hospital for a check-up.
“He had gone to the hospital about three to four days ago, and had an X-ray done on his lungs and he received medication. He was not really sick, so it came as a surprise,” family spokesperson Moudy Modzielwana said.
Tshanda’s record label, Dalom Music, confirmed his passing.
“He suffered a heart failure earlier (on Saturday) and was taken to Sandton MediClinic where he was declared dead.”
On his Twitter feed, his last tweet was sent on January 3, wishing all his fans and supporters a safe journey back to their destinations and urging people not to drink and drive - a tagline he used from his popular song Don’t Drink and Drive.
Some tweets before that, Tshanda had spoken about his last performance in Durban and looking forward to enjoying December with his family. He also tweeted that there were great things coming for Dalom Music.
In a video shared on social media, the musician said he was excited for the new year.
“I want to let you know that I love you very much. Next year you are going to see some changes from Splash and Dalom Music because it is a new year and we want to give you the best,” he said while his three sons were in the background enjoying family time at the beach.
Music peers, fans and friends have been sharing their condolences for the man behind the hit songs Dali Wami and Thando Lami among many others.
Princess of Africa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, tweeted: “So sad to learn about one of our brothers and fellow musicians @Dan Tshanda. Remember the song Pikoko, remember Dalom Kids. RIP Buti.”
Legendary vocalist and veteran mbaqanga singer and queen of Tshi- venda music, Irene Mawela, also sent her condolences: “I’m saddened to hear of the untimely death of @Dan-Tshanda. One of the kings of the music scene through his extensive work with Splash, Patricia Majalisa, Dalom Kids and many others. He leaves a mountainous legacy that will remain unmatched. May he rest in peace #RIPDanTshanda”
Tshanda was the man behind the popular sounds of Dalom Kids, Matshikos, Montana and Splash, among many others.
Over the years he had come to be known by his adoring fans as “Makirikiri”, “The Great Husband” and “Bass D”.
Born in Chiawelo, Soweto, Tshanda left school at an early age to become a taxi driver. He started a group valled Flying Squad, and they released their first album, Mr Tony, in 1985 with Gallo Records.
Flying Squad became the popular Splash, and their rise to fame came with the release of albums such as Peacock in 1986, Snake in 1987, and Money and Tshokotshoko the following year.
A producer for over 30 years, his music was loved throughout the 1980s, seeing him collaborate with legendary musicians and create his own legacy as well.
As a producer and musician, Tshanda had more than 40 albums under his belt.
Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa sent his condolences: “I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of legendary musician Dan Tshanda.
"An icon and music maestro of note, his music crossed borders, uniting fans from all over the continent. His legacy and contribution in elevating Tshivenda music will never be forgotten.”
Tshanda was also popular in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Luckson Ndlovu expressed this in a tweet: “In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Dan Tshanda became a household brand. There is no Bulawayo kid, whether a 70s, 80s, 90s, or even 2000s, who has never come across his music and fallen in love with it. A legend in that part of the world and he was given that respect ALWAYS.”
He leaves behind his wife Sylvia and three children.