Singer songwriter who was born in England, grew up in Zimbabwe and South Africa. He became fascinated with Zulu music, dance and other aspects of Zulu culture and struck up a partnership with Sipho Mchunu.
The two performed as the duo ‘Johnny and Sipho’ in the 1970s before forming the band Juluka in 1979. During this time Clegg studied Anthropology and completed his Masters degree, and embarked on a parallel career as an academic. When it was clear that he could make a living from music he resigned from academia and focused full time on music.
After Juluka broke up in 1985 Johnny Clegg released a solo album Third World Child with a more electronic and international sound than his music with Juluka. The single ‘Third World Child’ received widespread airplay in South Africa.
In 1986 he formed the band Savuka which Clegg dissolved in 1993.
He then reignited his solo career while also reforming Juluka with Sipho Mchunu for one album and occasional live performances. Between 2002 and 2017 he released four solo albums.
In 2019 he died of pancreatic cancer.
Formed by young friends Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu in the 1970s. An
exploration of Zulu culture was a trademark of the band who built up a strong following among both black and white audiences in South Africa.
They released their debut album Universal Men in 1979 and followed this with a series of albums until 1985 when they broke up becasue Mchunu left the group to return to his farm.
Clegg and Mchunu reformed Juluka in 1997, released one further album (Ya vuka inkunzi) and performed gigs together for a few years before once again going their separate ways.
Born in Kwazulu-Natal , as a teenager leant to play guitar and went to Johannesburg in 1969 to work as a gardener. He met Johnny Clegg and the two began to play music together, soon performing at folk gatherings as Johnny and Sipho before changing their name to Juluka in 1979.
In 1985 Sipho Mchunu left Juluka in order to focus on his family and his farm.
In 1989 he recorded the solo album Yithi Esavimba released in France and followed that in 1990 with the album Umhlaba Uzobuya with Third Ear Music.
Poor marketing and distribution meant that neither album achieved the sales they ought to have done. He continued to perform with Johnny Clegg as Juluka from time to time and they brought out a further Juluka album in 1997.
He joined Johnny Clegg as a guest artist for some of Johnny Clegg’s final shows.