What sad news dawned across the South African nation as residents woke up to the news of one of the country’s most prolific and loved musicians, Johnny Clegg passed away on Tuesday the 16th of July 2019 of pancreatic cancer.
Family spokesperson Roddy Quinn shared the news in a statement on Tuesday night.
“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.”
While there isn’t a SINGLE South African (or Southern African) who isn’t familiar with this iconic zulu fusion rock musician, my family feels particularly saddened by the news as my brother was in Johnny Clegg’s band for 7 years.
On Tour with Clegg
During his twenties, my brother Dan Shout toured the world with Clegg and played a number of incredible gigs including the Football World Cup opening ceremony in Germany, 46664 concerts in South Africa, Bastille Day in France an touring other countries including the USA, Canada, Reunion Island, Holland, Belgium and Morocco to name a few.
Our family feels incredibly blessed by the awesome opportunity that was bestowed upon my brother. While Dan has since moved on with his own South African jazz musical career, we will forever be thankful for the experiences that Dan gained through his 7 years with this proudly South African, iconic artist.
To celebrate the journey of such an amazing artist, I have made a Johnny Clegg playlist on Spotify below with some of his most iconic hits. My family has also declared that July 16th should be Johnny Clegg day EVERY year!
I can’t WAIT to see how the plays shoot up this week as South Africans mourn the loss of this incredible artist. Rest in Peace Johnny, and thank you.
More About Johnny Clegg
“Jonathan Paul Clegg OBE, OIS (7 June 1953 – 16 July 2019) was a South African musician and anthropologist who recorded and performed with his bands Juluka and Savuka, and as a solo act, occasionally reuniting with his earlier band partners. Sometimes called Le Zoulou Blanc (French: [lə zulu blɑ̃], for “The White Zulu“), he was an important figure in South African popular music, with songs that mix Zulu with English lyrics and African with various Western music styles.” – Wikipedia