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Jazz artist Thandi Klaasen dies aged 86

Iconic jazz artist Thandi Klaasen has passed away on Sunday morning.

The award winning singer died at the age of 86 following a long illness.

Klaasen was born in 1931 and grew up in Sophiatown.

Her career as a singer and dancer began in the mid-50s. She was part of the musical King Kong in1961 when she moved to London.

She performed with many musicians including Dolly Rathebe, Miriam Makeba and Dorothy Masuka.

The Arts and Culture department confirmed the death of iconic jazz artist Thandi Klaasen.

“We are saddened to learn that Jazz Legend Thandi Klaasen has passed on. Our thoughts are with her daughter Lorraine, her loved ones and fans”, said Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa.

Mthethwa added “uMama Thandi Klaasen will be remembered for her indomitable spirit, who succeeded against all odds nd her silky smooth voice which serenaded audiences the world over. How much richer we are having heard her sing”.