Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images

Philip Miller's "REwind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape and Testimony" at Prospect Park Bandshell on Friday night, July 6, 2007.This image;The mezzo-soprano Sibongile Khumalo.

South African Jazz and Opera Singer Sibongile Khumalo Has Died

South Africans are paying tribute to beloved jazz and opera singer Sibongile Khumalo who recently passed away following an enduring battle with illness.

South African jazz and opera singer Sibongile Khumalo has died at the age of 63. The death comes after the international performer reportedly suffered a stroke which culminated in a long battle with illness. Khumalo is said to have succumbed to stroke-related complications this past Thursday. The award-winning artist was known to dominate both local and international stages with her powerful voice. Condolences and tributes have been pouring in from President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Africans across all social media platforms.

Read:South Africa Mourns Passing of Jazz Legend Jonas Gwangwa

According to News24, Khumalo's family released a public statement confirming the death of MaMn'goma, the name by which she was affectionately known. "She will be missed by all who had the privilege of experiencing her music, her friendship and her love," her family stated. President Ramaphosa's tribute remarked on Khumalo's significance in South Africa's history and cited her landmark performances at the late Nelson Mandela's 75th birthday and 1994 inauguration. Khumalo was loved by Mandela who called her the "First Lady of Song". She became one of South Africa's post-Apartheid music icons and sang the country's national anthem at the historic 1995 Rugby World Cup final, as reported by IOL.

Khumalo's illustrious career began as a young child and picked up in 1993 when she won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award at the Grahamstown Arts Festival. After decades of career success, she received the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2008, awarded by the South African presidency and recognising the significant work of the singer in arts and culture. The news of the her death comes just days after the death of jazz veteran Jonas Gwangwa.

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Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns (via Getty Images)

New Fela Kuti Reissues & Box Set Are Coming This Year

Partisan Records has shared initial news of upcoming Fela 50th anniversary reissues and a new box set on the way.

Fela Kuti fans have a lot to look forward to this year as Partisan Records (home to Fela's catalog) has announced plans to release special reissues of two 1971 albums: London Scene and Live! With Ginger Baker, the classic album in which Fela and his band Africa '70 where joined by the Cream drummer.

The label has also said they plan to release the fifth installment in their ongoing Fela vinyl reissue box set series, which are handpicked by notable names in the music world. Previous volumes have been curated by Erykah Badu, Questlove, and Brian Eno.

Partisan has also shared that they will also be launching a scholarship program at Fela's alma mater, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London this year. The label will be sharing more information on all of that exciting Fela Kuti 2021 news soon, so keep and eye out.

In the meantime, Fela Kuti is currently leading the fan vote for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can head here to cast a daily ballot for the afrobeat legend. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.

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