Joseph Shabalala, Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder, dies aged 78
South African government pays tribute to singer whose group gained worldwide fame after collaborating for Paul Simon’s Graceland
“Joseph Shabalala took Ladysmith Black Mambazo and brought their music all over the world. Imagine! What a great accomplishment for a boy from Apartheid South Africa. I admired him for his music and his Godly spirit. People love Mambazo. I love Joseph. We had a great time.” -Paul pic.twitter.com/AJUOVVEScN
— Paul Simon (@PaulSimonMusic) February 12, 2020
Shabalala died in hospital in Pretoria and the news was confirmed by the group’s manager, Xolani Majozi. No cause of death has been announced.
They came to global attention after they collaborated with Paul Simon on his 1986 album Graceland, co-writing the song Homeless – its melody based on a Zulu wedding song – and singing the backing to Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.
Recently Paul Simon has reinterpreted ten of his own favourite songs with the help of an array of guest musicians for the new album In The Blue Light.
Released on September 7th, when the songwriting legend will be undertaking his farewell tour of North America, the album features tracks such as One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor from 1973’s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon and Can’t Run But from The Rhythm Of The Saints.
“It’s an unusual occurrence for an artist to have the opportunity to revisit earlier works and re-think them; to modify, even completely change parts of the originals,” he says.
“Happily, this opportunity also gave me the gift of playing with an extraordinary group of musicians, most of whom I hadn’t recorded with before. I hope the listener will find these new versions of old songs refreshed, like a new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home.”
In The Blue Light tracklist:
One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor
Can’t Run But
How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns
Pigs, Sheep and Wolves
René and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War
Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy
Questions For The Angels
Homeward Bound Tour will be heading to London’s Hyde Park the 15th of July for British Summer Time. All the dates announced- check here
Simon also announces European Homeward Bound Farwell Tour ( check dates below) The last act to headline British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park this year has been announced, and it’s none other than the incomparable Paul Simon. DATES BELOW
On Sunday, July 15th, the icon will give his farewell performance, alongside special guests James Taylor & His All-Star Band and Bonnie Raitt, with more to be announced.
The US singer-songwriter came to fame as half of Sixties folk duo Simon & Garfunkel but made his name as a solo artist, and won a Grammy for his comeback album Graceland in 1986.
The 76-year-old is yet to make a statement on the finality of what is being called “the farewell performance”. His last performance in the UK was in 2016, when he played two nights at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the European leg of his Stranger to Stranger tour.