Celebrities pay tribute to Johnny Clegg

Celebrities pay tribute to Johnny Clegg

Thank you for your beautiful music. South Africa's biggest stars celebrate music icon Johnny Clegg with beautiful tributes.

Danny K Johnny Clegg
Danny K with Johnny Clegg / Twitter

A towering giant has fallen with the passing of legendary singer-songwriter and anthropologist, Johnny Clegg.

That's how arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa remembered the music icon after news of his death broke.

The 66-year-old died on Tuesday after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer. 

The 'Impi' singer was diagnosed in 2015. He announced in April 2017 that he would be retiring from music but not before putting on a final show - his farewell tour. 

Several local artists, including his son Jesse Clegg, joined him on stage for his final shows.

"As I’m planning this, I’m living in a parallel universe with my condition. My chemo kind of carries me through until January and after that, it’s no man’s land. So I want to do as much as I can now and put all these things to bed,” he told TshisaLIVE in a September 2017 interview. 

South Africans say Johnny Clegg was a "national treasure" and deserves a state funeral.

ALSO READ: SA, world remembers music icon Johnny Clegg

Johnny leaves behind his wife Jenny and sons, Jesse and Jaron.

He praised his son Jesse in one of his final tweets in late 2018.

"27 years ago I wrote a song for my son @Jesse_Clegg in 2017, he came to me and said, “Dad, I wrote a song for you." The song turned into a duo. Here is the video for "I’VE BEEN LOOKING," he tweeted.

Last year, 50 musicians, using the name Friends of Johnny Clegg, came together to record a special version of Johnny's classic, 'The Crossing'.

Proceedings from the single were given to The Click Foundation to help improve education literacy in underprivileged primary schools. 

Karen Zoid, who featured on the single, paid tribute to Johnny in a lengthy post on Facebook.

"To me he was also a guiding light. A star. To me he was also a sound mind. A hero. To me he was also a humble musician, a friend who visited me at my house and rode bicycles with me on the promenade. All morning long this past December we pretended to be in a bike gang. The best day ever!" she wrote. 

Several other stars also took to social media to remember Johnny.

"We stand on the shoulders of giants," Danny K captioned a picture with Johnny, Hugh Masekela, and other SA musicians.

Arno Carstens wrote: "Thank you for your beautiful music that became part of my DNA." 

ALSO READ: East Coast Radio Presenters bid farewell to music legend Johnny Clegg

Show's Stories