Custom Search 1

Jazz musician Thandi Klaasen dies at 86

R.I.P: Thandi Klaasen

SOUTH AFRICAN jazz singer Thandi Klaasen has passed away.

Klaasen passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning (Jan 14) after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Prominent South Africans have been sharing their condolences and memories on the late singer, including President Jacob Zuma who said the nation had lost a leading pioneer of jazz who promoted a "cosmopolitan culture".

The Arts And Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa also conveyed condolences to Klaasen's family on Twitter.


Born to a shoemaker and a domestic worker in racially segregated South Africa, Klaasen performed with US stars such as Roberta Flack and Patti LaBelle in a career of more than 50 years.

Growing up under white minority rule in South Africa, she gained a reputation for fighting both racism and sexism.

"Her career as a singer and dancer began in the mid-1950s when the apartheid and patriarchal system were entrenched but that did not deter her from pursuing her dreams," the governing African National Congress women's wing said in a statement.

Zuma added: "She was a role model to many of our young and upcoming musicians and her legacy will live on for generations to come."

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments