Lucky Dube (born: Ermelo Dube) (pronounced: Doo bay) is one of South Africa's best selling artists and one of its most outspoken performers.. Although he initially sang in the traditional Zulu mbaganga style, his move to reggae in 1984 was sparked by his quest to express his anger against the oppression of apartheid. While The Village Voice observed, "The spirit of Lucky Dube's music and dance epitomizes the spirit of Black liberation", "Niceup Magazine" said, "(Dube's) lyrics have brought an original voice to reggae by chronicling the political and spiritual struggles of his South African breathren". Dube's musical talents were obvious from an early age. By the age of nine, he was conducting his school choir. After singing with school rock and roll bands, he joined his cousin, Richard Siluma's Mbaganga band, The Love Brothers. Together with the group, he recorded his first single in 1979. Inspired by the controversal lyrics of Peter Tosh, Dube moved to reggae in 1984. His earliest attempts with the newly-adopted style were met by strong opposition by the then-all-white South African government and his first reggae album, "Rasta Never Die" was banned from radio airplay. Without notifying his record label, Dube re-entered the recording studio and cut a second reggae album, "Think About The Children". The album became a major hit and achieved gold record status. Dube's third reggae album, "Slave", sold more than five hundred thousand copies.
Year Album Title
1991 Captured Live
1992 House of Exile
1994 Together As One
1996 Serious Reggae
1999 The Way It Is
2002 Soul Taker
2004 The Other Side
Shock at Lucky Dube's murder
The death of Reggae star Lucky Dube was greeted with shock on Friday morning.
Dube, 43, was shot dead in a hijacking in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, on Thursday night, police said.
Captain Cheryl Engelbrecht said the incident took place around 20:20 when the singer and performer was driving a blue Polo in the Johannesburg suburb.
She said Dube was dropping off his son in the area when he was attacked.
"His son was already out of the car. When he saw what was happening, he ran to ask for help."
The hijackers were still at large.
The boy was too traumatised to provide police with any information, Engelbrecht said.
Melvin Khumalo from Gallo Records - Dube's recording company - was not willing to comment on the incident, saying the company was attending to Dube's family.
Khumalo was on the scene in Rosettenville on Thursday.
The Pan Africanist Congress on Friday expressed its "shock and anger" at Dube's cold-blooded murder.
"It signifies yet again how much criminals disregard human life," said party co-ordinator Modini Maivha.
"We pass our condolences to Lucky's family and the families of other victims of violent crime in the country. We call on the government to empower citizens... by releasing crime statistics regularly.
"This will enable us to appreciate the levels of crime and galvanise South Africans to do more to help our under-resourced police force."
The African Christian Democratic Party also sent its condolences to Dube's family and called for the reinstatement of the death penalty.
The party's Western Cape representative Hansie Louw said in a statement: "Will the death penalty not reduce the senseless killings? There is no respect for life."
Dube, born in Johannesburg on August 3, 1964, was named "Lucky" as he was born in poor health and doctors thought he would die, according to a Wikipedia entry.
But Dube survived and went on to become a frontline artist in the reggae genre.
He had recorded over 20 albums in his music career which spanned over 20 years - according to the singer's website www.luckydubemusic.com.
His albums included Rastas Never Die, Think About The Children, Soul Taker, Trinity and his latest, released in 2006, is called Respect.
The reggae sensation, who did not drink or smoke cigarettes or marijuana, despite the association of the substance with Rastafarians, had won over 20 awards for his music contribution locally and internationally.