The staff of Gallo Record Company are devastated by the news of the tragic passing of reggae legend Lucky Dube. Lucky was slain in an attempted hijacking in Rosettenville in Johannesburg last night, at approximately 8pm, whilst dropping off his children at a family members house.
Although Lucky attempted to escape the scene, he had been fatally wounded from the hijackerís attempt to steal his motor vehicle, and he died almost instantly.
Senseless and random, the death of Lucky Dube leaves a great void in the music industry, as 25 years of music suddenly ends in tragedy.
South African born but globally revered, Lucky Dube was one of the countryís most toured and beloved artists ever. His music touched millions around the world, primarily through his 22 recorded albums - in Zulu, English and even Afrikaans - many of which have been record breakers with phenomenal sales from around the globe.
As a frontline artist in the reggae genre, Lucky's creativity and inventiveness kept growing. Compelling in his musicianship and intriguing in his lyrical content, Lucky's sonic daring to take his genre to new heights never failed to amaze even the most ardent fans, whilst reigning in new devotees to his magic every day.
His energetic band toured with him from continent to continent as South African musical ambassadors, and his live performances have earned him fans and accolades the world over.
Lucky joined Teal Records (later to become Gallo) as a fresh-faced young Mbaqanga singer in 1982. Five albums later he found a genre that spoke to his soul and changed the way he viewed the world. This genre was Reggae.
With his long-time sound engineer and best friend Dave Segal, he created some of the most legendary pieces of reggae music ever recorded, including the tracks Prisoner, Taxman, Slave, Victims, Together As One and Respect ñ all social anthems that garnered him the adoration of the people of his country - and across the globe.
Lucky was an artist that continued to break international barriers and recently just signed a deal with Warner Music International, securing him album releases across Europe of his latest album Respect.
Ivor J. Haarburger, CEO of Gallo Music Group is deeply saddened by the loss. ìLucky was not just an extraordinary artist, he was a personal friend. We go back over twenty years and had both a business and personal relationship. Itís so sad to lose such a great friend and so tragically, why?î
There are very few words that capture the magnitude of this devastating loss. As a musician, father and colleague, Lucky was one of the most charming, respected, selfless and dedicated people to have lived. He will be sorely missed.
Lucky Dube is survived by his new wife Zanele and his 7 children Bongi, Nonkululeko, Thokozani, Laura, Siyanda, Philani and his brand new three-month old baby Melokuhle.
Should you wish to send a message of condolence to Luckyís family, please email Lucky@gallo.co.za or fax on 27 (0) 11 340 9471
Here's Dube, singing "I wish I was home; I wish I was in Africa..."
[mp3] Lucky Dube:
from the album The Other Side
Voice of America has an audio report on Dube's murder.