South African Jazz Icon Hugh Masekela Dies At 78

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Hugh Masekela performs at Barbican Centre on June 8, 2015 in London, United Kingdom  (Photo by Robin Little/Redferns via Getty Images)

As far as music legends go, Hugh Masekela will go down as one of the most iconic. This morning, his family announced his death at the age of 78, after a decade-long battle with prostate cancer.

Fondly called ‘Brah Hugh‘   was born in a township deep in the South African countryside, Masekela’s career started at the age of 14 when he was given a trumpet by his school teacher.

He soon formed a band with his schoolmates and would go on to be one of the most revolutionary anti-apartheid voices in his country. His music reflected the hardships, slavery and social causes throughout his career. In the 1960’s he was forced to go into exile and created more music to draw attention to the plight of black people in South Africa. Along the way he had several hit songs such as Grazing In The Grass, Colonial Man, Your Boy’s Doin’ It, You Told Your Mama Not To Worry, Soweto Blues and dozens of others. One of his most popular songs was the Mandela tribute, Bring Him Back Home.


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