Legendary South African musician and song writer, Hugh Masekela has died in Johannesburg at the age of 78, his family confirmed in a statement.
The statement of Tuesday January 23, 2018 said he died after a protracted fight against cancer. The celebrated jazz musician was born on April 4, 1939.
It hailed his legacy in diverse fields beyond his music and disclosed that details of his memorial and burial were being worked out.
... we are blessed and grateful to be part of a life and ever-expanding legacy of love, sharing and vanguard creativity that spans the time and space of 6 decades. Rest in power beloved, you are forever in our hearts.
“It is with profound sorrow that the family of Ramapolo Hugh Masekela announce his passing. After a protracted and courageous battle with prostrate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family.
“A loving father, brother, grandfather and friend, our hearts beat with profound loss. Hugh’s global and activist contribution and participation in the areas of music, theatre, and the arts in general is contained in the minds and memory of millions across 6 continents and we are blessed and grateful to be part of a life and ever-expanding legacy of love, sharing and vanguard creativity that spans the time and space of 6 decades. Rest in power beloved, you are forever in our hearts,” the statement read in part.
The government led the social media celebration of his life, several other people across the world continue to tweet pictures of Masekela and reminisce over his many pieces of work over the years.
His classic, Grazing In The Grass, topped the Billboard Hot 100. He was the first African male Grammy nominee (1968). He won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the CHOMVA, Ghana Music Awards, Jazz FM Awards and MAMAs.
A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela. We can safely say bra Hugh was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music. #RIPBraHughMasekela pic.twitter.com/JVy47GA6aU— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) January 23, 2018
1954 Hugh Masekela recieves a trumpet as a gift from Louis Amstrong. What moves me about this picture is the passion and love he had for the Trumpet , the excitement on his face is contagious ?? pic.twitter.com/DB2EkRJr9w— Siya Beyile (@SiyaBeyile) January 23, 2018
Sincere and warmest condolences to the family and loved ones of Legendary Jazz Musician Hugh Masekela. His contribution to music will live forever. May his soul Rest In Peace. [Image source: Getty Images] pic.twitter.com/S9tEOy88F6— Dr Dlamini Zuma (@DlaminiZuma) January 23, 2018
Deeply saddened by the passing of iconic Hugh Masekela. A legend who united South Africa and the world through music. RIP Bra Hugh, heartfelt condolences to family and loved ones. #RIPHughMasekela ❤?? pic.twitter.com/35Ci5Yd7RB— Ulrich J van Vuuren (@UlrichJvV) January 23, 2018
Listening to stimela in this moment… chills all over. What it sounds like to be a legend. Influence spanning decades and crossing numerous terrains. A life well lived. Farewell #HughMasekela.— M.anifest (@manifestive) January 23, 2018
The last time Hugh Masekela was in Kampala for a concert, he asked the organisers to look for me. Luckily, I was in town. We met up for tea and had a long and deeply personal conversation about his health. He was optimistic. We promised to keep in touch. And we did. pic.twitter.com/s6nZLHb5YL— Alan Kasujja (@kasujja) January 23, 2018