Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 9 November 2008) was a South African singer, actor, and civil rights activist. She was a vocal opponent of apartheid and white-minority government, in South Africa and elsewhere. Associated with genres including afropop, jazz, and world music, she began singing professionally in the 1950s. She had a brief role in the anti-apartheid film Come Back, Africa (1959), which led to performances in Venice, London, and New York City. Makeba moved to the United States, where her career flourished, and released several albums and songs, including the hit "Pata Pata" (1967). She and Harry Belafonte received a Grammy Award for their 1965 album An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba. Her 1968 marriage to Stokely Carmichael of the Black Panther Party was not well received in the US, and she moved to Guinea, where she wrote and performed music more explicitly critical of apartheid. Nicknamed Mama Africa, she was one of the first African musicians to receive worldwide recognition. Her music, in Nelson Mandela's words, "inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us".

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