Miriam Makeba, 1932-2008

A sad moment for world music, South African singing legend Miriam Makeba has passed after collapsing on stage during a concert in Italy.  She was 71 years old.

Makeba, known as “Mama Africa”, spent more than 30 years in exile after lending her support to the anti-apartheid struggle. Makeba was the ex wife of fellow South African music legend Hugh Masekela and then remarried Black Panther Stokely Carmichael.  She also the FIRST black African woman to win a Grammy Award, which she shared with Harry Belafonte in 1965.  Footage of Makeba’s last concert can be found here.

Makeba on Brazilian TV in 1968 performing “Pata Pata”

Makeba performing “Under African Skies” with Paul Simon’s Graceland tour 1987