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South African Music Legend Hugh Masekela Dies at 78

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Hugh Masekela, Marcus Miller and Guillaume Perret perform on stage during the International Jazz Day 2015 Global Concert at UNESCO on April 30, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz)

South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela has died, TimesLive reports.

The South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa confirmed the news on his Twitter, writing:

A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela. We can safely say bra Hugh was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music. #RIPBraHughMasekela

In a statement released by Masekela’s family, it was revealed that the jazz trumpeter passed after a battle with prostate cancer.

“After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family,” read the statement.

Masekela was prominent in the South Africans fight against apartheid, his 1987 hit “Bring Him Back Home” becoming the theme tune for Nelson Mandela’s world tour after his release from prison.

Details of his memorial and burial will be released to the public soon, the family said.

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