Hugh Masekela, South African Music Legend Dies at 78

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performs on stage during the FIFA World Cup Kick-off Celebration Concert at the Orlando Stadium on June 10, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela has died. The South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa confirmed the news on his Twitter, writing:

A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela. We can safely say bra Hugh was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music. #RIPBraHughMasekela

In a statement released by Masekela’s family, it was revealed that the jazz trumpeter passed after a battle with prostate cancer.

“After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family,” read the statement.

Masekela was prominent in the South Africans fight against apartheid, his 1987 hit “Bring Him Back Home” and became the theme tune for Nelson Mandela’s world tour after his release from prison.

Details of his memorial and burial will be released to the public soon, the family said.

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