4 March 1932, Johannesburg, South Africa. d. 10 November 2008, Castel Volturno, Italy. The vocalist who first put African music on the international map in the 60s, Makeba began her professional career in 1950, when she joined Johannesburg group the Cuban Brothers. She came to national prominence during the mid-50s as a member of leading touring group the Manhattan Brothers, an 11-piece close harmony group modelled on African-American line-ups such as the Mills Brothers. She performed widely with the outfit in South Africa, Rhodesia and the Congo until 1957, when she was recruited as a star attraction in the touring package show African Jazz And Variety. She remained with the troupe for two years, again touring South Africa and neighbouring countries, before leaving to join the cast of the township musical King Kong, which also featured such future international stars as Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwangwa. By now one of South Africas most successful...
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