Dube, 43, was shot dead in a hijacking while dropping off his son and daughter, aged 15 and 16, in Rosettenville, Johannesburg.
I had the pleasure and the honor of meeting Lucky Dube when I worked with Shanachie Entertainment. He came to perform at a reggae festival in the Washington, DC area and as the regional marketing representative in the area, I went to the show, spent time with him and his band back stage, and got to know a super talented and beloved musician. Contrary to sterotypes of musicians and especially reggae musicians, Lucky Dube did not smoke marijuana, nor drink, and would not let his band drink until after they had performed.
From Lucky’s website:
Lucky Dube has been hailed as ‘The shining star of African reggae (afropop.com) and ‘South Africa’s biggest selling contemporary artist’ (Mail & Guardian). However, he isn’t merely this, he’s a modern day hero with a message that has touched millions of people’s hearts around the world. With an incredible 21 albums under his musical belt, he has proved himself one of not only South Africa’s, but also the world’s greatest reggae superstars. A man with superb musical taste and genuis, an artist with a message, with a reason and a rhyme behind everything he does.
As one can judge by listening to his music, he has a message on every album. His songs are based on three main things – political issues, social issues and personal issues – things that play an important role in everyone’s lives. When asked what inspires him (Lucky), he humbly notes – ‘People! Looking at people, watching people’s movements, the things they do. My songs are based on real life situations and experiences.’
From the release of his first reggae album in 1984, to his present superstar status today, Lucky has maintained the humble nature that brings him closer to the people that so inspire his music. He has toured the world more times over than anyone could dream of and shared stages with names such as Maxi Priest, Sinead O-Connor, Peter Gabriel, Michael Jackson, Seal, Ziggy Marley, Celine Dion, Sting and many, many others. He has raked in over 20 local and international awards for his music and videos, yet as a person he is unaffected by his success. Still living in the country that gave him birth, he records with his original sound engineer and belongs to the same record comany. A true gentleman, Lucky’s down-to-earth nature is one of his finest qualities.
His music is riddled with the desire to make the world a better place.
Massive hits such as Taxman, Prisoner, The Way It Is, Victims, Trinity and many others have catapulted him into the homes and hearts of people all over the world. He sees through the ridiculous, the injustices, the everyday problems we all have to deal with as human beings, and slices through to the heart of it. His incredible repertoire is a cornucopia of mixed emotions, questioning attitudes and a simple love of a good melody and a good vibe.
Classic Reggae interview:
CR: “Can you give us some examples about how sad it was to live in a South Africa?”
LD: “Well my life basically when growing up as a child during the Apartheid era was generally a sad life. We didn??t have like, good education and stuff like that…”
CR: “…’they only build prison, prison’…”. *
LD: Yeah. (laughing)
Listen to Lucky Dube! (180 K)
* Quotation from the Lucky Dube??s song “Prisoner”: ‘They won??t build no schools anymore. All they build were prison, prison…’
Prisoner is my favorite Lucky Dube song.