R.I.P. Miriam Makeba

    The woman known as "Mama Africa," one of the first and foremost artists to put South Africa on the worldwide  music map, Miriam Makeba has died at the age of 76. The Johannesburg-born singer made international news in 1960 when she became a political exile from her homeland; with her passport revoked due to her starring role in an anti-apartheid documentary film, she took up residence in the U.S. She scored big crossover hits later in the decade, and her popularity continued to grow over the years, but it wasn’t until 1990, when Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison, that she returned to South Africa. The first African woman to win a Grammy award, Makeba is an important historical figure, but she was also a living symbol of the struggle for (and ultimate victory over) oppression. She died of a heart attack on November 9 while on tour in Italy.