The music world has been rocked by the death of legendary South African singer Miriam Makeba, who suffered a heart attack after a concert in southern Italy. The 76-year-old collapsed shortly after coming off stage yesterday. She had been taking part in an anti-racism and anti-mafia concert near the town of Casserta.
Makeba, know affectionately as “Mama Africa” by fans, had been a symbol of the fight against apartheid in her home country. She first came to fame in 1959 touring America with the South African group, The Manhattan Brothers.
After her citizenship was revoked by the apartheid regime she spent many years in exile, mostly in the US, where her reputation grew steadily. She was the first black woman to receive a Grammy Award in 1965. But Makeba had a troubled private life, enduring poverty, unhappy relationships and the death of her daughter.