Culture June 21, 2018 at 03:23 pm

10 traditional African songs that won international acclaim

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

Mildred Europa Taylor June 21, 2018 at 03:23 pm

June 21, 2018 at 03:23 pm | Culture

Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba

She recorded 30 albums, 19 compilation albums, and countless collaborations with several musicians over the course of her long career. The multiple award-winning musician was extremely popular with American audiences, and she is credited with bringing Xhosa, Zulu, and Swahili songs to Western ears.

Makeba first starred with the South African jazz band Manhattan Brothers. From there, she joined an all-woman group, The Skylarks, which combined jazz and South African melodies. In 1956, her first single “Pata Pata” catapulted her to fame.

In 1966, Makeba received the Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording together with Harry Belafonte for An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba. The album dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid.


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