Jacob Zuma leads tributes for the late gospel star Lundi Tyamara
South African gospel star Lundi Tyamara, has died after a battle with stomach TB and a liver condition.
His family confirmed that he died on Friday morning in Edenvale hospital in Johannesburg.
The 38-year-old singer, loved for his energetic stage performances, had hits with Mphefumlo Wami and Ndixolele.
President Jacob Zuma led the tributes to the star, saying Tyamara was “one of the best gospel artists that the country has ever produced”.
The BBC’s Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg said the award-winning star brought gospel to a younger generation through his unique style and drew thousands of people closer to the music genre.
His manager Tshepo Nzimande explained what made Mr Tyamara so popular: “He had energy on stage and he was very powerful.”
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said there was “a deep sense of grief for losing such a young life. He is a success story that South African youth have a significant contribution to make in our society.”
Popular evangelist pastor Paseka “Mboro” Motsoeneng who had visited the musician in hospital also described to local newspaper how shocked he was when he heard the news.
“It was a massive shock to me. I could not believe it at first but I was grateful that I could pray for him and bring him closer to the Lord.”
The singer had been receiving treatment since being diagnosed in December.
A family statement, released on Friday, said that Lundi has passed away peacefully just after midnight.
Tyamara is the third young artist to die within the last six months, after the deaths of another gospel star Sifiso Ncwane and musician Mduduzi “Mandoza” Tshabalala, both also aged 38. BBC News