27 Facts About Miriam Makeba

1. Miriam Makeba's won the Dag Hammarskjold Peace Prize in 1986, and in 2001 was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal in Gold by the United Nations Association of Germany in Berlin, "for outstanding services to peace and international understanding".

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2. Miriam Makeba's called for unity between black people of African descent across the world: "Africans who live everywhere should fight everywhere.

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3. Outside her home country Miriam Makeba was credited with bringing African music to a Western audience, and along with artists such as Youssou N'Dour, Salif Keita, Ali Farka Toure, Baaba Maal and Angelique Kidjo, with popularising the genre of world music.

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4. Miriam Makeba's was seen as a beauty icon by South African schoolgirls, who were compelled to shorten their hair by the apartheid government.

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5. Miriam Makeba's once stated "When Afrikaaners sing in my language, then I will sing theirs.

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6. Miriam Makeba's could sing while making the epiglottal clicks of the Xhosa language.

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7. Miriam Makeba's incorporated Latin American musical styles into her performances.

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8. Miriam Makeba's established the Makeba Centre for Girls, a home for orphans, described in an obituary as her most personal project.

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9. On 16 October 1999, Miriam Makeba was named a Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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10. Miriam Makeba's took part in the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute, a popular-music concert staged on 11 June 1988 at London's Wembley Stadium, and broadcast to an audience of 600 million across 67 countries.

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11. Miriam Makeba's continued to perform in Europe and Asia, as well as her African concerts, but not in the US, where a de facto boycott was in effect.

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12. Miriam Makeba's became a diplomat for Ghana, and was appointed Guinea's official delegate to the UN in 1975; that year, she addressed the United Nations General Assembly.

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13. Miriam Makeba's requested an arms embargo against South Africa, on the basis that weapons sold to the government would likely be used against black women and children.

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14. Miriam Makeba's visited Kenya in 1962 in support of the country's independence from British colonial rule, and raised funds for its independence leader Jomo Kenyatta.

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15. Miriam Makeba's signed with the recording label RCA Victor, and released Miriam Makeba, her first studio album, in 1960, backed by Belafonte's band.

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16. When she first moved to the US, Miriam Makeba lived in Greenwich Village, along with other musicians and actors.

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17. In 1957, Miriam Makeba was featured on the cover of Drum magazine.

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18. In 1949, Miriam Makeba married James Kubay, a policeman in training, with whom she had her only child, Bongi Makeba, in 1950.

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19. Miriam Makeba's described herself as a shy person at the time.

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20. Miriam Makeba's brought African music to a Western audience, and popularized the world music and Afropop genres.

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21. Miriam Makeba's was named a UN goodwill ambassador in 1999, and campaigned for humanitarian causes.

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22. Miriam Makeba's began to write and perform music more explicitly critical of apartheid; the 1977 song "Soweto Blues", written by her former husband Hugh Masekela, was about the Soweto uprising.

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23. Miriam Makeba's continued to perform, mostly in African countries, including at several independence celebrations.

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24. Miriam Makeba's married Stokely Carmichael, a leader of the Black Panther Party, in 1968.

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25. Miriam Makeba's testified against the South African government at the United Nations and became involved in the civil rights movement.

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26. Miriam Makeba's moved to New York City, where she became immediately popular, and recorded her first solo album in 1960.

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27. In 1959, Miriam Makeba had a brief role in the anti-apartheid film Come Back, Africa, which brought her international attention, and led to her performing in Venice, London, and New York City.

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