South African Jazz Legend Ray Phiri Dies - Afrossip
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South African Jazz Legend Ray Phiri Dies

By Fabiola Antunes
In Featured
July 12, 2017
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Ray Phiri of Sitmela performs on stage during the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2007 held in Newtown on August 25, 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa - Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images Entertainment. Ray Phiri of Sitmela performs on stage during the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2007 held in Newtown on August 25, 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa – Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images Entertainment.

South African jazz legend Ray Phiri has died, aged 70.

The guitarist, producer and vocalist, who featured on U.S. folk rocker Paul Simon‘s 1986 Graceland album, passed away on Wednesday.

Robin Baard, a spokesperson for Nelspruit Medi-Clinic in Mpumalanga, South Africa confirmed the news to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Ray Phiri, who had eight children, was diagnosed with cancer two months ago, and was recently admitted to the hospital.

The jazz star rose to fame outside his homeland after Paul Simon asked him and vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo to perform on Graceland, a solo album that experimented with an African sound. He reunited with Simon in 2012 for a Graceland tour.

Phiri also made several successful albums with his band Stimela.

© WENN

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