Saturday, November 22, 2008

Miriam Makeba (1932 - 2008)

Miriam Makeba, perhaps the most famous exponent of world music passed away performing on stage in Italy, the victim of a heart attack at the age of 76. Ms. Makeba's career began with the Manhattan Brothers in South Africa. Ms. Makeba was forced to leave South Africa due to her opposition to the racist oppressive Aparthied regime, especially after one of her recordings "Beware Voerwoed" gained international attention. In her lifetime Ms. Makeba was married to two equally famous spouses; Hugh Masekela, South Africa's internationally acclaimed trumpet and flugelhorn player then Trinidadian Civil Rights activist Stokely Carmichael. Makeba's marriage to the later put her on the FBI's blacklist and forced the couple to live in Guinea. The FBI deliberately set out to destroy Makeba's career in The United States, making it illegal to play any of her material on the airwaves. She also was denied any performing venue within the United States.
At this time Miriam Makeba was celebrating her biggest hit "Pata, Pata" In spite of this harsh character assassination Ms. Makeba still prevailed, as time went by the demand for her music steadily grew even though she could not perform in the USA. This only seemed to make her even more popular outside the US where she was known for such classics as "The Click Song", "Can't Cross Over", "Be Humble" and "Maliaka". Miriam Makeba (a.k.a. Mama Africa) and her music will live on forever in the hearts of millions around the world who adored her.

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