Joseph ShabalalaLadysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala is dead.

Shabalala died Tuesday morning at Life Eugene Marais Hospital in Pretoria.

According to group manager Xolani Majozi, the music icon was suffering complications from a 2012 back surgery that left him wheelchair-bound.

“Yes it’s true. Mr Shabalala passed on this morning. The group (Ladysmith Black Mambazo) is on tour in the US, but they have been informed and are devastated because the group is family,” he said.

He was 78 years old and had retired from the group back in 2014 following his deteriorating health, and handed over the leadership of the group to his son Sibongiseni. In 2017, he was admitted to hospital again after his health took a nosedive.

Shabalala was best known for his great vocals. His group won five Grammy awards, putting South African music on the map. Their first came in 1987 for their album Shaka Zulu.

Last year, President Ramaphosa visited the ailing singer in hospital. Here’s that clip.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

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