Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala dies at 78

In this Sunday Jan. 20, 2008 file photo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo founding member Joseph Shabalala gestures to the audience during the group's performance at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. The founder of the South African multi-Grammy-Award-winning music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, has died at age 78. Shabalala died at a hospital in the capital Pretoria Tuesday Feb. 11, 2020, his family confirmed to local media. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek, File)
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JOHANNESBURG (AP) - The founder of the South African multi-Grammy-Award-winning music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, has died at age 78.

He is world-known for his leadership of the choral group founded in 1964 that shot to world acclaim. It collaborated with Paul Simon on the “Graceland” album and others.

The haunting, often a cappella singing style known as isicathamiya helped to make the group one of South Africa’s most recognized performers on the world stage.

The South African government in a tweet has extended its condolences.

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