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Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a male choral group from South Africa that sings in the vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube. They rose to worldwide prominence as a result of singing with Paul Simon on his album, Graceland, and have won multiple awards, including four Grammy Awards. They were formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960 and later became one of South Africa's most prolific recording artists, with their releases receiving gold and platinum disc honors. The group has now become a mobile academy, teaching people about South Africa and its culture.AwardsNominationsThe competitions and the first Mambazo concertsAfter the release of the group's first album in 1973, they were banned from competing in the isicathamiya competitions because of their ability to win many of the competition. They were, however, welcome to perform for the audience. Following this, the group started performing for their own audiences in shows that were specially made - and soon afterwards, the group began touring around South Africa in their own concerts, but due to the Apartheid system in use, they were often stopped by police guards; on some of these occasions they were even made to lie down on the ground whilst being searched. Shortly afterwards, they were allowed to tour without permits.The Graceland successBy 1986, the group had a very small number of white fans in South Africa; the majority of their fan base was black people (the group mainly toured in townships). After Paul Simon included the group on his "Graceland Tour of 1987", the group began touring by themselves and became very widely known.Future TouringThe group has been recognized as the most successful world music artists and have a healthy touring schedule. When asked if the group has any plans to stop their traveling, of over six months each year, the response has always been "Not as long as the people of the world want to hear our music. We are the traveling musical academy for South African culture and it is our responsibility to continue on this journey."

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