Album: Miriam Makeba, Mama Africa 1932-2008 (Gallo)

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When Makeba died on stage last year – the way she had always wanted to go – she was mourned all round the world.

As a political activist, she spent 30 years in exile from her native South Africa, and endured a second semi-exile from America for her marriage to black activist Stokely Carmichael. This double CD reflects the whole of her career, which started in earnest with a group called the Skylarks. Her blues-singing timbre was true and pure, and the tone she brought to traditional songs was the essence of township vocal art.