SA musician Ray Phiri has died

  • SA musician Ray Phiri has died

SA musician Ray Phiri has died

In a 2012 documentary about the making of Graceland titled Under African Skies, Phiri explained his decision to participate in the collaboration. After the band broke up, he founded the more focused Stimela in 1980.

"Stimela was the heartbeat of South Africa". The album evolved from Simon's interest in indigenous South African music.

Ray Phiri of Stimela pulls the crowds at the Ugu Jazz Festival in 2003.

Before reaching worldwide fame with Graceland, Phiri was already an established musician in South Africa and lead singer of 1970s band Stimela.

According to reports by the SABC music veteran Ray Phiri has died after a battle with lung cancer.

Phiri faced controversy for working with Simon and the other Graceland musicians, who were accused of breaking an global cultural boycott of South Africa for its apartheid regime.

Two tweets sent by fans mourning the death of Ray Phiri
Before reaching international fame with Graceland Phiri was already an established musician in South Africa and lead singer of 1970s band Stimela

While authentic and stable in his personal life, Phiri suffered a number of life-altering tragedies, including road accidents in 1987 and 2003, in which his long-time manager and his wife, Daphney, respectively, died.

"Ray Phiri has left this world and it is a painful morning for us", he said.

Phiri is survived by his eight children.

News of Phiri's failing health was first reported early this week.

His real name is Raymond Chikapa Enock Phiri, he had used music to promote social values and peace, especially during the years of repression by the regime of apartheid that has taken officially end in 1994. "I will forever cherish all the times that I have had with him".