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Johnny Clegg Dies at 66

Cheryl Kahla
Jul 16, 2019
04:34 P.M.

Groundbreaking South African musician Johnny Clegg died after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 66.


According to South Africa's state broadcaster, Johnny Clegg passed away at his home in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Clegg achieved worldwide recognition in the eighties with his multi-racial bands in defiance of the laws established by the Apartheid South African government of the time.


He rose to prominence in the United States and was one of the few South African musicians whose albums made it to the top of the Billboards charts.

His song "Scatterlings of Africa" was included on the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film "Rain Man," with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in the lead roles.


The South African Government said that Clegg's music could "unite people across the races [...] and made an indelible mark on the music industry and the hearts of the people." They added:

"He has left deep footprints in our hearts. He showed us what it was to assimilate to and embrace other cultures without losing your identity."

Clegg was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015 and underwent two six-month chemotherapy sessions, as well as an operation.

Clegg retired in 2017, after going on his last energy-laden tour called "The Final Journey." His cancer was in remission at the time.

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