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Ray Phiri Dies At Age 70

A sad day as the legendary jazz musician loses his battle with lung cancer.

12 Jul 2017 / / written by TATC Staff

SA music stalwart and former Stimela frontman Ray Phiri has passed away at age 70.

Family spokesperson, Paul Mkanyane, confirmed that the musician passed away at Nelspruit Mediclinic at around 3:30 am on Wednesday morning.

“He has been bad for the past few days. I spoke to him on Monday and he was struggling but unfortunately, there was nothing we could have done. The doctors say they tried all that they could to help him out.”

Phiri, who was nicknamed “Just Now” was the founding member of the Cannibals in the ’70s. When the Cannibals disbanded, Phiri founded Stimela, with whom he created gold and platinum-selling albums like “Fire, Passion and Ecstacy”, “Look, Listen and Decide” as well as the controversial “People Don’t Talk So Let’s Talk”.

He also collaborated on Paul Simon’s iconic album “Graceland” alongside Ladysmith Black Mambazo, which went on the win 1987’s Grammy for Album Of The Year Award.