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Jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela dies

R.I.P: Hugh Masekela (Photo credit: Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

LEGENDARY JAZZ trumpeter Hugh Masekela, a leading musician and activist who fought to end apartheid, has died aged 78.

In a statement, his family said he had "passed peacefully" in Johannesburg "after a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer".

According to BBC News, Masekela's family described him as "a loving father, brother, grandfather and friend" who would be "forever in our hearts".

"Hugh's global and activist contribution to and participation in the areas of music, theatre and the arts in general is contained in the minds and memory of millions across six continents."

"We are blessed and grateful to be part of a life and ever-expanding legacy of love, sharing and vanguard creativity that spans the time and space of six decades."

Details of memorial and burial services, the family said, would be released "in due course".

Masekela gained global recognition with his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound and was known as the "the father of South African jazz" for hits such as Soweto Blues .

The 1977 song became synonymous with the anti-apartheid movement.

In a statement, South African President Jacob Zuma said Masekela's death was "an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large".

Zuma continued: "His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten."

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