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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 10, 2008


Death of Miriam Makeba

The United States extends its condolences to the family of Miriam Makeba and the people of South Africa on the sudden passing of this musical legend.

Makeba, who passed away in Italy at age 76 after performing on November 9, was a musical icon who inspired South Africans during and after the fight to end apartheid in her native country. After being banned from apartheid-era South Africa for her outspoken political views for more than 30 years, Makeba was able to serve as a source of inspiration and hope for South Africa’s oppressed by reaching them through her music. After the fall of apartheid, she returned to play a positive role through her music in the newly democratic South Africa.

Makeba was the first African woman to win the prestigious Grammy Award and also earned the affectionate title of the “Queen of African Song.” A world renown singer, she shared the stage with musical legends and sang for world leaders, including U.S. President John F. Kennedy. She will be missed by many the world over.

2008/943

Released on November 10, 2008

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