Ladysmith Black Mambazo won their 5th Grammy Award this year making them the most decorated music act to hail from Africa. Since 1969, the group has carried a message of peace, love, and harmony in song and dance to music halls & theaters around the globe.
Throughout their illustrious career, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded and performed with a “who’s who” in entertainment.
Ladysmith’s most famous collaboration was with Paul Simon (who also performed at the Winspear Opera House). In the 80s, Simon recorded his masterpiece, Graceland, with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Simon told the New York Times “I was following my musical instincts in wanting to work with people whose music I greatly admire.” The album was a critical and commercial success, opening American ears to African music.
The group has collaborated with the leading lady of country music on a couple of songs. In the 90s, Ladysmith appeared on Dolly’s album Treasures, on a cover of Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train”. The pair recorded together again in 2014 with “Knocking On Heaven’s Door”.
At a 2014 show at Carnegie Hall, Ladysmith Black Mambazo joined Dave Matthews on stage for a rousing rendition of “Diamonds on the Soles Of Her Shoes”.
On their album, Long Walk to Freedom, Ladysmith Black Mambazo recorded with a multitude of artists including Sarah McLachlan. They performed the classic “Homeless” on Ellen.
While there’s no footage of The King of Pop and Ladysmith performing together, this is still pretty cool. In 1987, Ladysmith Black Mambazo was asked to perform on Michael Jackson’s movie, “Moonwalker”. The group agreed and they performed “The Moon Is Walking” over the end credits.