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Johnny Clegg, one of South Africa’s most influential musicians of the late 1980s, has died.
The news broke on Tuesday, however Clegg has been struggling with pancreatic cancer since 2015.
British-born Clegg, for those born in the 2000s, is perhaps best known for his 1988 hit “Great Heart”. His solo tracks, along with his bands Juluka and Savuka, were also featured in movies like Invictus, Rain Man and George of the Jungle.
Understandably, #JohnnyClegg began trending across Twitter in South Africa late on Monday.
Those in politics, the music industry, and fans expressed their shock at the news, and remembered Clegg’s legacy.
Saddened by news of the passing away of Johnny Clegg- he was a pioneer of the changing South Africa, an absolute legend and undoubtedly one of South Africa’s Champion People @ChampionSAfrica #RIPJohnnyClegg pic.twitter.com/yAcw4uT0qr
— Ashraf Garda (@AshrafGarda) July 16, 2019
— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) July 16, 2019
What a Blow! Johnny Clegg "umZulu omhlope" has passed away! To call you just a musician would be to fail you. You embraced maskandi music & Zulu culture like it was your very own, at a time when it was unpopular! Thank you for the Music. Rest In Peace.. 💔💔! #RIPJohnnyClegg pic.twitter.com/C4LkJoSz1K
— Khanyi Magubane (@Khanyi_Magubane) July 16, 2019
Oh No just seen that #JohnnyClegg also passed away! That’s quite a devastating punch to anyone that knows him well in terms of what he represented and how he used his music to inspire generations of freedom fighters and peace loving citizens of the world! Oh No! Shocked!
— Zwelinzima Vavi (@Zwelinzima1) July 16, 2019
Oh my Goodness.., just learned of the death of Legendary Musician, Johnny Clegg. Another loss to South African arts industry. May his Soul Rest Peace pic.twitter.com/RYmlCqF8h2
— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) July 16, 2019
SA musician Johnny clegg has died https://t.co/zpxiNT3nfP via @eNCA Johnny u played your innings with distinction mfowethu . You were the mirror of how we should live together in SA. Ambassodor par excellency . Bon voyage . My condolences. RIP Johnny. pic.twitter.com/EFpMxpXSdw
— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) July 16, 2019
South Africa has lost a great patriot, a huge talent. Our Democracy was born to the the music of Johnny Clegg. Thank you for the unity, pride and spirit of hope you gave us all with your magic. You will never be forgotten. Respect. Rest well sir. #JohnnyClegg https://t.co/5OnMidAGSp
— Simon Grindrod (@SimonPGrindrod) July 16, 2019
Feature image: Andy Walker/Memeburn