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Ray Phiri dead

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RENOWNED South African guitarist, Ray Phiri, has died.

Phiri, who had Malawian roots and performed in Malawi in 2014 alongside Lawi at Crossroads in Lilongwe, died on Wednesday at Nelspruit Hospital in South Africa after losing his battle to lung cancer.

According to Times Live, family spokesperson, Paul Nkanyane, confirmed Phiri’s death to TshisaLive and said the star died at around 3:30 am surrounded by family and friends.

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The star was hospitalised two weeks ago and his condition became public earlier this week after his close friend started an initiative to help pay his medical bills.

Born Raymond Chikapa Enock Phiri, the African jazz musician said during his outing in Malawi that he inherited his talent from his father who hailed from Kasungu but went to South Africa to work in the mines.

Phiri was the arranger and guitarist on Graceland, Paul Simon’s Grammy Award winning album.

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The legendary musician, who said during his performance in Malawi that he was looking forward to working with local acts, founded a popular soul band The Cannibals in South Africa in 1972 and when it folded he went on to launch Stimela.

The artist said in 2014 that he felt happy to perform in Malawi.

“I feel excited to be in the land of my adoptive father. This is a region that has a unique culture and a reputation for hospitality and craftsmanship,” he said.

In fact, the musician waved his performance fee in support for icare and Coopi organisations which organised the show for a cause.

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