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Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo (mämbäzˈō) [key], choral group formed in 1965 in Ladysmith, South Africa, led by Joseph Shabalala. The group, which sings with a precise yet free-flowing phrasing, has consisted of 8 to 12 members. Its lyrics, which generally reflect religious themes and everyday concerns, are sung mostly in Zulu, but also in English or Sotho. Their first internationally available album was Induku Zethu (1983). They achieved worldwide recognition and acclaim when they recorded with Paul Simon on his Graceland album (1986); Simon also produced their next album, the Grammy-winning Shaka Zulu (1987). Later releases include Two Worlds One Heart (1990) and Raise Your Spirit Higher (2004; Grammy). The group has also appeared in the drama The Song of Jacob Zulu (1993) and the musical Nomathembe (1995).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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