South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela died on Tuesday aged 78, his family announced, triggering an outpouring of tributes to his music, his long career and his anti-apartheid activism.
“After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg,” Masekela’s family said in a statement.
It hailed his “activist contribution” to music, which it said, “was contained in the minds and memory of millions.”
South African President Jacob Zuma praised Masekela as a “jazz artist, legendary trumpeter, cultural activist and liberation struggle veteran.”
“He kept the torch of freedom alive globally fighting apartheid through his music and mobilising international support,” Zuma said.
“It is an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large.”
Masekela fled apartheid South Africa in 1960 and did not return…
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