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Mahotella Queens

south africa african world south african female vocalists

With a style of music they call Mbaqanga, The Mahotella Queens (Nobesthutu Mbada, Hilda Tloubatla and Mildred Mangxola) have become South Africa's most successful vocal group through their combination of traditional songs with high energy, funky, dance-oriented music.

The Mahotella Queens first came to prominence in the 1960s as backing singers for the 'Lion of Soweto' Mahlathini. As well as recording with Mahlathini, they released a number of albums in their own right. They were able to use their fame to become highly influential figures in the fight against apartheid.

The death of Mahlathini in 2000 lead to them recording the album Sebai Bai in his honour. This album brought them even greater international attention and the Womex award.

Now in their 60s, The Mahotella Queens still record and regularly tour with their compatriots Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

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