Music icon called ‘Empress of African Song’
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Miriam Makeba, the South African singer who wooed the world with her sultry voice but was banned from her own country for more than 30 years under apartheid, died after collapsing on stage in Italy. She was 76.
In her dazzling career, Makeba performed with musical legends from around the world — jazz maestros Nina Simone and Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon — and sang for world leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela.
“Her haunting melodies gave voice to the pain of exile and dislocation which she felt for 31 long years. At the same time, her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us,” Mandela said in a statement.
He said it was “fitting” that her last moments were spent on stage.
The Pineta Grande clinic in Castel Volturno, near the southern city of Naples, said Makeba died early Monday of a heart attack.
Makeba collapsed on stage Sunday night after singing one of her most famous hits “Pata Pata,” her family said in a statement. Her grandson, Nelson Lumumba Lee, was with her as well as her longtime friend, Italian promoter Roberto Meglioli.
“Whilst this great lady was alive she would say: ‘I will sing until the last day of my life’,” the statement said.
The remainder of the A/P Obituary as printed in Variety is here.
Miriam Makeba performing Pata Pata live TV Record, S.Paulo, Brazil,1968)
Miriam and Paul Simon duet on “Under African Skies” from Graceland – The African Concert in Zimbabwe, 1991 (This complete concert is awesome!)
This video from 2007 shows Ms. Makeba only got better with age. She was still moving and grooving for us in her seventh decade.
Rest in Peace talented lady. We thank you for what you gave us.