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Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Photo by Gallo Images / City Press / Khaya Ngwenya.

10 Essential Ladysmith Black Mambazo Songs

10 key songs from Ladysmith Black Mambazo's extensive catalog.

The death of Joseph Shabalala, the founder of multiple Grammy award-winning isicathamiya group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, has saddened the country, the continent and the world at large.

What started as a crew that allowed any member of the community to join became one of the most successful and most consistent music outfits from the continent.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo was formed in 1960 and released their first album Amabutho in 1973 under the label Gallo Records. Amabutho was the first album by black musicians to achieve gold status in sales (25,000 copies).

Ladysmith Black Mambazo has won multiple SAMAs (South African Music Awards) and five Grammys—their first Grammy was in 1988 for the album Shaka Zulu and their last one was in 2018 for Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo have achieved longevity which is a rare feet in the world of music. They have collaborated with a wide range of artists—Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Dolly Parton, David Guetta, Brenda Fassie, MiCasa and many others. They have released more than a hundred albums and compilations.

Below, we pick 10 of the group's key records from their extensive discography—songs that were impactful in their message and remain the most popular and common records from the group.

Note: This list is in no particular order.

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo Founder Joseph Shabalala Has Reportedly Died

Joseph Shabalala, founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, has passed on.

Joseph Shabalala, the founder of the successful isicathamiya group Black Mambazo, has reportedly died at the age of 78. While there hasn't been any confirmation from his family or the group, various sources including the SA Government's Twitter account, have shared the news. It's still unknown what the cause of his death is.

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