In this Nov. 16, 2006 file photo, South African singer Miriam Makeba performs on stage at the Avo Session in Basel, Switzerland. The emergency room of the Pineta Grande Clinic in Castel Volturno, Italy, said the singer died early on Monday. (AP photo/Keystone, Georgios Kefalas)
|In this January 1992 file photo, South African singers Mariam Makeba (center) and Hugh Masekela, along with African National Congress President Nelson Mandela, listen to singer and songwriter Paul Simon (right) in Johannesburg. Makeba died early on Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, of a heart attack after collapsing on stage in Italy. She was 76 years old. (AP photo/Adil Bradlow)
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Miriam Makeba, the South African singer who wooed the world with her sultry voice but was banned from her own country for more than 30 years under apartheid, died after a concert in Italy. She was 76.
In her dazzling career, Makeba performed with musical legends from around the world — jazz maestros Nina Simone and Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon — and sang for world leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela.
“Her haunting melodies gave voice to the pain of exile and dislocation which she felt for 31 long years,” Mandela said in a statement. “At the same time, her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us.”
He said it was “fitting” that her last moments were spent on stage.
The Pineta Grande clinic in Castel Volturno, near the southern city of Naples, said Makeba died early Monday of a heart attack.
Town Mayor Francesco Nuzzo said Makeba collapsed late Sunday at the end of a concert against organized crime, which has been blamed for the local massacre in September of six immigrants from Ghana.
Makeba had not looked well as she visited an immigrant aid center in Castel Volturno early Sunday afternoon, the mayor said.
The death of “Mama Africa,” as she was known, plunged South Africa into shock and mourning.(p2)
The South African singer's Web site features an official statement on her passing, as well as a link allowing fans and visitors to leave messages expressing their feelings at this difficult time, links to photos and other information. More »
The online video sharing site features a host of clips of the legend performing some of her most popular songs, including "Pata Pata," "The Click Song" and more, throughout her illustrious career. More »
During the apartheid era, South Africa’s white government stripped artists like Miriam Makeba of their passports. The efforts of Makeba and others to focus world attention on the injustices of apartheid are credited with helping bring revolution. More »