African Legends    Brenda Fassie    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music


African Legends    Brenda Fassie    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
IRIS

Search

WORLD MUSIC NEWS
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC Profiles
  Artist Features
  World Music Legends
  Reggae Legends
  African Legends
Live Music Events
  World Music Concerts
  World Music Festivals
  World Music Clubs
Global Lifestile
  Travel
  Food
  Film
reviews
  Books
  DVD
  Live Music
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC CD ReVIEW
  Africa
  Asia & Far East
  Australia & Oceania
  Celtic & Irish
  Electronica
  Europe
  Greater Latin America
  Jazz
  Middle East & North Africa
  New Age & Avant Garde
  North American
  Reggae & Caribbean
  South Asia
  World Fusion
WORLD MUSIC links
back issues
 

Deutsch
Franais
Espa ol
Italiano
Portuguese
Japanese
Chinese





African Legends

Print Page
E-mail to Friend E-mail to Editor
Brenda Fassie
By Tom Pryor

Published November 14, 2006

Dubbed “The Madonna of the Townships” by Time Magazine, South African singer Brenda Fassie was one of the most beloved, controversial and ultimately tragic figures of contemporary South Africa.

Born in 1964 near Cape Town, Fassie came from a musical family and began singing early. While still in her teens, her big voice attracted the attention of a talent scout who brought her to Johannesburg. There she cut her teeth as a backup singer, eventually getting her first big break fronting a group called Brenda and the Big Dudes. It was with this band that she cut her signature hit, “Weekend Special,” in 1984. That song, like much of her material, was about the difficulties of love and sex in the Townships. While not overtly political, Fassie’s subject matter and vocal delivery were pure street, and millions of fans responded to the suffering, liberation and pure raucous joy in her voice.

Fassie went solo not long after this breakout, scoring other hits like “Too Late For Mama” and the banned “Black President” throughout the ’80s and ’90s. But Fassie’s wild lifestyle, cocaine abuse and numerous affairs with both men and women, began to take a steep toll on her art. She became notorious for missing gigs and turned in some rather poor records. Her low point came in 1995, when she was found in a drugged stupor next to the dead body of her girlfriend, who had OD’d. Shocked, Fassie worked hard to get clean, and her 1998 release, Memeza, was one of her best ever, becoming the top selling album in South Africa that year.

RSS Feeds

ADVERTISING LINKS

Arc128
Quincy Jones Eagle Rock
Lawson Sideblock
Globe Trekker 120 150
emusicsideblock

GoNomad
sonicbids

Contact us | Press Room | Contests | About Global Rhythm magazine | Advertise / Media Kit
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
| Global Rhythm Contributors | Link to Us | Back Issues

Copyright © 2008 Zenbu Media. All rights reserved.

Powered by Ecomsolutions.net