Johnny Clegg

Goddamn it’s too fucking hot to be updating a deadpool website, but these are the travails I put up with while maintaining the world’s greatest celebrity death prediction competition…

Johnny Clegg, aka the “White Zulu”, was one of South Africa’s favourite sons. Born in the Lancashire town of Bacup, he moved to Johannesburg at the age of 6. He was a radical from an early age: learning Zulu, working with black musicians in their hometowns and getting arrested for protesting against the government aged just 15. 

He formed the group Juluka with Sipho Mchunu in the late 1970s, apartheid South Africa’s first mixed-race group. Mixing Zulu, celtic and rock ‘n’ roll influences, they were banned from the airwaves and forced to play gigs in private. Even then, the concerts were often raided by police and both bandmembers saw prison time. The group split when Mchunu returned to being a farmer, and Clegg formed another multi-racial group: Savuka. Savuka’s most famous performance came in 1999, when Clegg was joined on stage by Nelson Mandela for a performance of the global hit single “Asimbonanga”. Ironically, Savuka had been unable to play at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert in the UK due to a Musicians’ Union ban on South African performers. Good work lads.

Clegg had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 and has finally succumbed, with the DDP getting its 5th Drop 40 hit of the year. His death sees Thomas Jefferson Survives and Pan Breed return to the top of the standings, with the former technically having the advantage on hit numbers. It’s still all to play for…

Johnny Clegg
7 June 1953 – 16 July 2019
Died aged 66 (40 picks, 1 joker)