Posted by AFP on
South African singer Miriam Makeba has died aged 76 after being taken ill following a concert near the southern Italian town of Caserta, Ansa news agency reported on Monday.
Rome - South African singer Miriam Makeba has died aged 76 after being taken ill following a concert near the southern Italian town of Caserta, Ansa news agency reported on Monday.
Makeba was the legendary voice of the African continent, who became a symbol of the fight against apartheid in her home country.
She died overnight after taking part in a concert for Roberto Saviano, a writer threatened with death by the Mafia, the Italian agency said.
She sang for half an hour for the young author of Gomorrah at Castel Volturno near Naples along with other singers and artistes.
She was taken ill and was quickly taken to a clinic in Castel Volturno where she died of a heart attack, Ansa said.
Makeba was born in Johannesburg on March 4, 1932. She made an international farewell tour in 2005.
Born from a Swazi mother and Xhosa father, Makeba captured international attention as vocalist for the South African group, The Manhattan Brothers, while they toured the United States in 1959.
The following year, when she wanted to return home to bury her mother, the apartheid state revoked her citizenship and later also banned her music. As a result she spent 31 years in exile, living in the United States and later in Guinea.
She became the first black African woman to receive a Grammy Award, which she shared with folk singer Harry Belafonte in 1965.
Two years later her fame sky-rocketed with the recording of the all-time hit Pata Pata (Xhosa for
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