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Mar 04, 2013 at 9:27am
Miriam Makeba: Award-winning South African singer's birthday Google Doodle
The first singer to popularize African music around the world has been honoured with a Google doodle.

Miriam Makeba, nicknamed Mama Africa, rose to prominence in the 1960s and would have celebrated her 81st birthday today.

The Grammy Award-winning South African singer and civil rights activist was best known for the song 'Pata Pata'.

Makeba recorded and toured with the likes of Paul Simon and Harry Belafonte during a glittering career.

She was an active campaigner against apartheid through three decades in exile and was loathed by South Africa's white minority rulers.

She had her citizenship revoked in 1959 and was only able to return to her homeland 31 years later.

Makeba died of a heart attack in November 2008 after performing a concert in southern Italy.

Nelson Mandela paid tribute at the time, saying: "Despite the pain she felt to leave behind her beloved family and her country, she continued to make us proud as she used fame to focus attention on the abomination of apartheid.

"It was fitting her last moments were on stage."

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