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Lucky Dube: The Rastafari Champ

Lucky Philip Dube was born in 1964 at Ermelo, South Africa. He was given the name lucky because his single mother saw his birth as a miracle.

He, however, spent much of his childhood with his grandmother alongside his two siblings.

During this time, he worked as a gardener. Upon the realization that the money he made was not sufficient to feed his family, he decided to attend school. In school, he joined the choir and formed a group, The Skyway Band.

It was during this time that he had his first encounter with Rastafari movement. When he clocked 18, he joined his cousin’s “Zulu” pop music band, The Love Brothers and worked as a security guard.

The band signed with “Teal Record Company” and released Lucky Dube and the Supersoul. He only started to learn English then and adopted reggae. After his fifth album, he noticed that fans began to respond to his songs and decided to infuse the Jamaican socio-political messages into his songs for his racist society.

In 1984, he released his first reggae album, Rastas Never Die which was banned in 1985 because of its government-critical lyrics.

The following year, he released Think About The Children which attained platinum status.

He went on to release internationally acclaimed albums including Prisoner, Captured Live, House of Exile and Victims. In 1995 he became signed with Motown. In 1996, he released Serious Reggae Business earning him the “Best Selling African Recording Artist” at the “World Music Awards”. He went on to release Respect which got him a European release deal with Warner Music

He also landed acting roles in Voice in the Dark, Getting Lucky and Lucky Strikes Back.

He was shot by assailants in Johannesburg who supposed him to be Nigerian on this day in 2007.

Update: This article has been updated to correct the impression that he died in 1997.

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Lucky Dube
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