South African opera and jazz singer, Sibongile Khumalo, a recipient of the country’s second highest national order, died on Thursday, her family said a statement.
The 63 year-old singer, born in Soweto not far from late President Nelson Mandela’s home, sang at the leader’s 1994 inauguration. She also performed internationally, including at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall.
Khumalo received the presidential Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2008, for her contribution to arts and culture. A trained soprano, she boasted a wide vocal range, while her oeuvre included European classics, African folk and choral music, as well as modern jazz.
Her family said the cause of her death was a stroke following a lengthy illness.
Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana – Reuters