Inarguably, Lucky Dube was an icon of South African music. The singer-songwriter single-handedly put South African reggae on the international music map. With numerous successful and critically acclaimed albums, an electrifying stage presence and as an outspoken commentator on political and cultural issues of the day, by 2007 Dube was at the peak of his career and a respected elder of South African music.
His death that year, killed during a hijacking outside his Johannesburg home, was both shocking and tragic. Millions of South Africans mourned the unnecessary death of a true musical legend.
Born in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, in 1964, Dube found his love for music in school choirs and short-lived mbaqanga (Zulu pop) garage bands, before becoming a devout Rastafarian and dedicated reggae musician.
Inspired by Jamaican musicians Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh, Dube mixed the latter’s socio-political messaging with the former’s pop music sensibility. His second album, Think About The Children, released in 1985, was the first of many hugely successful albums he would record over the next 20 years. In 1993, his album Victims sold more than one million copies, and he found audiences across the rest of Africa, in the Caribbean and Europe, where he toured prolifically.
To commemorate the ten-year anniversary of his death, Dube’s long-time recording company, Gallo Music South Africa, has released a double-album compilation titled The Times We’ve Shared. It features not only his biggest hits but also three previously unreleased songs as well exclusive recordings some of his most iconic live performances.
Lucky Dube – The Times We’ve Shared