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Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala dies

The founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo Joseph Shabalala has died.

FILE: Joseph Shabalala, the legendary founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, at a show in Johannesburg on 1 August 2002. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo Joseph Shabalala has died.

The details around his death have not yet been disclosed but it's understood that the 78-year-old singer passed away in a Pretoria hospital after a long illness.

He was hospitalised last month after being treated for an undisclosed illness last year.

The group's manager Xolani Majozi said that the group had cut their US tour short and was expected to travel back home soon.

Majozi said the group members were devastated.

"The group is currently touring America and will now cut their tour short and deal with the situation. They'll be leaving after the meeting with family today."

The Grammy award-winning group achieved international acclaim with their hit Homeless.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo won 5 Grammys, having racked up 17 nominations.

They were known for their moving vocals on the track Unomathemba.

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