Obit

Miriam Makeba Dies at 76

Miriam Makeba, the South African singer who was banned from her country under apartheid for 30 years, died early today at 76. She first rose to international prominence in 1959, when she started in the anti-apartheid documentary Come Back, Africa. When she tried to return to South Africa a year later for her mother’s funeral, she discovered that her passport had been revoked. She won the Grammy for best folk recording in 1966, performed for JFK at his birthday party in 1962, and was married to Stokely Carmichael in the late 1960s. Nelson Mandela invited her back to South Africa after his release from prison. "It was like a revival," she said about going home. "My music having been banned for so long, that people still felt the same way about me was too much for me. I just went home and I cried."