Joseph Shabalala Music Chronology: His Life in Music

Joseph Shabalala, Joseph Shabalala funeral,

Dr Joseph Shabalala, A life in music

21 Feb 2020 ARTS & CULTURE

By Nomali Cele

Earlier in the month, on 11 February 2020, Dr Joseph Shabalala, the talented, charismatic founder and leader of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, passed away. There’s no argument the impact of Dr Shabalala’s work; Ladysmith Black Mambazo has forever changed South African music. Today, Ladysmith Black Mambazo is one of the most successful touring global acts, touring internationally yearly. All this iconography exists because Dr Shabalala had a dream once and worked to make it a reality. Today we share Joseph Shabalala music chronology ahead of his funeral. These are the ways Dr Shabalala and Ladysmith Black Mambazo put Isicathamiya on the global stage.


Dr Joseph Shabalala music chronology:

1941 – Is born on 28 August eMnambithi, KwaZulu.

1960 – Founds the original Ladysmith Black Mabazo

1973 – Ladysmith Black Mambazo releases its debut album

1985 – Shabalala meets Paul Simon in Johannesburg. Simon was a big fan of the group and their sound.

1986 – Ladysmith Black Mambazo works on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album.

1987 – Shabalala, along with the rest of the group, join Paul Simon on his “Graceland” tour

1987 – They release their first international album, “Shaka Zulu“. It was produced by Paul Simon.

1987 -“Shaka Zulu” wins the group its first Grammy Award

2004 – Ladysmith Black Mabazo with second Grammy award for “Raise Your Spirit Higher“.

2008 – Ladysmith Black Mambazo is awarded the national order of Ikhamanga in silver

2014 – Joseph Shabalala retires after 54 years as the bandleader of the group


Rest in peace to the legend. Hamba kahle Mshengu.