The founder of the South African multi-Grammy-Award-winning music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, has died aged 78.
Shabalala died in hospital in Pretoria, on Tuesday morning, his family has confirmed.
He was world renowned for his leadership of the choral group founded in 1964 that shot to world acclaim, collaborating with Paul Simon on the Graceland album and others.
The haunting, often an a cappella singing style known as isicathamiya, helped to make the group one of South Africa's most recognised performers on the world stage.
Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala— Ladysmith Black Mambazo (@therealmambazo) February 11, 2020
Our Founder, our Teacher and most importantly, our Father left us today for eternal peace. We celebrate and honor your kind heart and your extraordinary life. Through your music and the millions who you came in contact with, you shall live forever. pic.twitter.com/2eDNFDUAGf
"The group (Ladysmith Black Mambazo) is on tour in the US, but they have been informed and are devastated because the group is family," manager Xolani Majozi told local media outlet Timeslive.
Majozi said the group would cut its trip short and return to South Africa.