The group had gone on to win 5 Grammys
The South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo was created by Joseph Shabalala and they roared into global fame after they collaborated with singer Paul Simon in 1986 for the album Graceland. The group was founded in 1960 and it took them some time to gain global presence but when they arrived at the international scene, they were hailed as great representatives of South African culture.
He was a Zulu man in the Apartheid-era of South Africa and faced numerous obstacles in his career. He had once told news agencies that all he wished to be, at one time, was an educated man, maybe a teacher. But the success of Graceland propelled the group to stardom and they were even able to record platinum albums.
As they toured internationally, they had the opportunity of recording with stars like Dolly Parton, Stevie Wonder, and Josh Groban, among many others. In an interview with NPR in 2003, Joseph said about his music: "It uplifts the spirit. It makes you respect yourself, respect your father, your mother. It makes you share ideas with your family at home and then it takes you to church also. You get into church like a person who is ready."
The exact cause of his demise is not yet known but the news was revealed by the band on Social Media.
Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala— Ladysmith Black Mambazo (@therealmambazo) February 11, 2020
Our Founder, our Teacher and most importantly, our Father left us today for eternal peace. We celebrate and honor your kind heart and your extraordinary life. Through your music and the millions who you came in contact with, you shall live forever. pic.twitter.com/2eDNFDUAGf