South African Musician Johnny Clegg has died aged 66 - Noise11.com
Johnny Clegg photo by Ros O'Gorman

Johnny Clegg photo by Ros O'Gorman

South African Musician Johnny Clegg has died aged 66

by Paul Cashmere on July 17, 2019

in News

South African musician Johnny Clegg has passed away after living with pancreatic cancer in 2015.

Clegg was one of South Africa’s most celebrated musicians earning himself the title “white zulu’ and awarded an OBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, UK), the OIS (Order of Ikamanga, South Africa) and the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters) by the French Government in 1991.

Clegg was born in England. His father was English, his mother Rhodesian. After their divorce, when Johnny was six, his mother moved the family to South Africa.

Johnny Clegg and Savuka reached no 8 in Australia in 1987 with ‘Scatterlings of Africa’. The song featured in the movie ‘Rain Man’.

The South African Government released the following statement:

Asimbonanga ofana no Johnny Clegg. He has left deep footprints in our hearts. He showed us what it was to assimilate to and embrace other cultures without losing your identity.

Johnny died at his home in Johannesburg.

The official statement:

JOHNNY CLEGG 1953 – 2019

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

16 July 2019

It is with immense sadness that we confirm that Jonathan (Johnny) Clegg, OBE OIS succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 66 on the afternoon of 16 July 2019 at his family home in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Johnny leaves deep foot prints in the hearts of every person that considers him/herself to be an African. He showed us what it was to assimilate to and embrace other cultures without losing your identity. An anthropologist that used his music to speak to every person. With his unique style of music he traversed cultural barriers like few others. In many of us he awakened awareness.

Johnny was born on 7 June 1953 in Bacup, Lancashire England and moved to Johannesburg, South Africa with his Rhodesian mother when he was 6 years old. His exposure to Zulu migrant workers during adolescence introduced him to the culture and music. His involvement with black musicians often saw him arrested during Apartheid.

At the age of 17, together with Sipho Mchunu they formed their first band called Juluka. At the age of 33 in 1986 during the height of Apartheid he partnered with Dudu Zulu to form his second inter-racial band called Savuka. Clegg also recorded several solo albums and enjoyed international success selling out concerts wherever he performed.

Apart from lecturing at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Natal respectively, Johnny studied anthropology and combined his studies with music.
He was awarded by a number of local and international bodies for his contribution to music and society notably by the French Government in 1991 with a Knight of Arts and Letters, and in 2015 he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. In 2012 he received the Order of Ikhamanga from the South African government. He was awarded a number of Honorary doctorates by the Universities of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), Dartmouth College in the USA and the City University of New York.

He authored and published the book “UkuBuyisa Isidumbu” (1981, Ravan Press), and presented papers on “The Music of Zulu Immigrant Workers in Johannesburg” in 1981 at the Grahamstown International Library of African Music and “Towards an understanding of African Dance: The Zulu Isishameni Style” in 1982 at Rhodes University.

Johnny was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015 but despite fighting cancer continued to tour and perform around the world to pay homage to his fans worldwide.

Johnny is survived by his wife of 31 years, Jenny and their two sons Jesse and Jaron.

His passing has left us numb and we request that the family’s privacy be respected during this trying time.

The family will be holding a Private funeral service and we ask you to please respect the families wishes.

There will be a service for public to pay their respects and the details hereof will be announced in due course.

Roddy Quin
Manager, friend and family spokesman
REAL MANAGEMENT

You’ll discover music news first following Noise11 on Twitter

Comment on the news of the day, join Noise11 on Facebook

Noise11.com

Listen to the Noise11 Music News channel now at iHeartRadio

Comments

comments

Related Posts

Steve Holland Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet Guitarist Steve Holland Guitarist Has Died

Steve Holland, the original guitarist for Molly Hatchet and with the band for its first five albums has died. He was the last living original member of the band.

2 days ago
Paul Kelly and Paul Grabowsky photo by Pia Johnson
Paul Kelly Reimagines His Songs With Paul Grabowsky And It Works

Paul Kelly has jumped around genres and styles many times over his 40+ year recording career but he has never ventured anywhere as differently as he has travelled with Paul Grabowsky to reimagine his own songs on ‘Please Leave Your Light Now’.

5 days ago
Elton John and his Band perform in Melbourne at Rod Laver Arena on Friday 11 December 2015. Photo by Ros O'Gorman
Elton John’s Next Live Stream is From New York 2000

Elton John will broadcast a complete concert from Madison Square Garden in New York this weekend.

5 days ago
Split Enz True Colours
Split Enz ‘True Colours’ Expanded and Reissued To Mark 40th Anniversary

Split Enz ‘True Colours’ is back with extra tracks, marking the 40th anniversary of its release in 1980.

5 days ago
Rolling Stones Steel Wheels Live
Rolling Stones ‘Steel Wheels Live’ Coming With Guests Guns ‘N Roses, John Lee Hooker and Eric Clapton

The next archive DVD for The Rolling Stones will be ‘Steel Wheels Live’ and it features guests John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton and Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin from Guns ‘N Roses.

5 days ago
Stevie Nicks ADOTG at Rochford Winery on Saturday 18 November 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman
Stevie Nicks Says Wear A Face Mask

Stevie Nicks has urged her fans to wear face masks and "change into spiritual warriors" in the fight against Covid-19.

5 days ago
Ice-T, music news, noise11.com
Ice-T Says He Has Lost Eight To Coronavirus

Ice-T has lost eight loved ones to coronavirus, as he also opened up on his father-in-law Steve Austin's month-long hospitalisation with the virus.

5 days ago