Brenda Fassie the razzmatazz queen

JOHANNESBURG — The South African pop queen was remembered as Sunday marked 10 years after her passing.


Born in Langa, and named after the American country singer Brenda Lee she went to take the music world by storm.

The daughter of a pianist, Brenda began singing to her mother’s accompaniment at a very young age, and at the age of five, she had tourists paying to hear her sing.

On Sunday night South Africans and the rest of the world got to experience a one-hour special dedicated to the pop legend’s memory as local artists including her son Bongani Fassie and Vusi Nova paid tribute to her.

The music special was broadcast live from the Johannesburg Urban Brew Studios on SABC 1’s Live Amp at 9pm.

The event also served as the official launch of the Brenda Fassie Legacy Tour which will take place across all nine provinces of South Africa till the end of the year.

Fassie began a solo career in the 1980’s working with producer Sello Chicco Twala. Her career skyrocketed in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Things seemed to all go downhill in the mid 1990s when rumours of drug abuse began to surface.

After a few stints in rehab, Fassie made a comeback in 1998 with the release of her very successful album Memeza, which was also a reunion with her long time producer Twala.

She died on May 9 2004 after spending two weeks in a coma.

Her death was reported to have been caused by a cocaine overdose.


  • This year Brenda Nokuzola Fassie would have turned 50 years old.
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