Johnny Clegg
Johnny Clegg

Johnny Clegg

About Johnny Clegg

A singer/songwriter who became a key figure in South African music and the fight against apartheid, Johnny Clegg spent his career challenging the racial barriers and cultural divisions that he first confronted growing up in Johannesburg. Born in England in 1953, Clegg was six when he moved to South Africa with his mother. His early immersion in the music and dance traditions of the Zulu migrant workers he met led to the formation of Juluka, a partnership with Zulu musician Sipho Mchunu that began in 1969, when both men were still teenagers. The group’s blend of African and European influences was as unique as it was exuberant on songs like 1982’s “Scatterlings of Africa,” a hit that established Juluka internationally at a time when they still faced harassment and bans at home. After Mchunu retired from music in 1985, Clegg founded the equally vibrant and eclectic Savuka with musician and dancer Dudu Zulu. Following Zulu’s death in 1992 and a successful reunion for Juluka in 1997, Clegg continued to build bridges with his powerfully humanist and fervently rhythmic music as a solo artist until his own passing in 2019.

  • HOMETOWN
    Rochdale, Lancashire, England
  • BORN
    June 7, 1953

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