[image1_left]South Africa – According to the US record label for Ladysmith
Black Mambazo, Ben Shabalala, brother of Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder and
leader Joseph Shabalala, was killed in unknown circumstances on June 16 in a
suburb of Durban, South Africa.
Ben first joined Ladysmith Black Mambazo in 1979 and was part of the group
during Paul Simon’s Graceland recording and subsequent tour. He retired from the
group in 1993 to spend more time at home with his family. His voice was an
integral part of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo sound that captivated audiences
worldwide through the popularity of the Graceland album — which won the
Grammy Award for album of the year in 1986. Ladysmith Black Mambazo also won a
Grammy in 1987 for their recording Shaka Zulu, of which Ben was also a
part. The group is currently on a worldwide tour promoting their latest release,
Raise Your Spirit Higher, and have decided to continue in honor of Ben’s
memory. Said Joseph Shabalala, “Ben was not just my brother, but is a part of my history.
He is a part of Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s legacy. While his life has ended in
this terrible way, his voice, his memory and his spirit will continue on with
Ladysmith Black Mambazo.”
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. He was also the executive producer of the first Latino feature film made in North Carolina titled “Los sueños de Angélica.”.