Life and Death of Hugh Masekela: His Songs, Personal Life and Legacies. Hugh Masekela was a well-known trumpeter, composer, flugelhornist, and bandleader who was born in Witbank town South Africa. Growing up, Masekela was motivated and inspired by the music on the 78 RPM, GRAMOPHONE RECORDS OF Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Jelly Roll Morton, and others. He was a trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer, one who has been described as \u201cthe father of South African jazz.\u201d His Jazz compositions as well as his very popular anti-apartheid songs such as \u201cSoweto Blues\u201d and \u201cBring Him Back Home,\u201d are some of the works he is famed for. In 1968, he reached a milestone in his career as his version of \u201cGrazing in the Grass,\u201d reached number 1, on the US pop hit charts. Hugh lived his life, both career-wise and on a personal level, to the fullest before bowing to death in 2018. He was celebrated world over even as his legacies have a promise of living for always. The Early Life Of Hugh Masekela Music Career and Chart-Topping Songs Hugh Ramapolo Masekela was born on 4 April 1939 in KwaGuqa Township, Witbank, South Africa. His father, Thomas Selena Masekela, was a\u00a0\u00a0sculptor and health inspector while his mother, Pauline Bowers Masekela, was a social worker. As a child, he was practically raised by his grandmother and it was with her that his musical talents developed. He started playing the piano at a young age and when he was 14, he saw a movie\u00a0Young Man with a Horn(in which\u00a0Kirk Douglas\u00a0plays a character modelled on American jazz cornetist\u00a0Bix Beiderbecke) and it was this movie that inspired him to start blowing the trumpet. His very first trumpet was given to him by the\u00a0anti-apartheid\u00a0chaplain at St. Peter\u2019s Secondary School, Archbishop\u00a0Trevor Huddleston. Through the influence of Huddleston, Masekela was able to master the trumpet under the tutelage of Uncle Sauda, the leader of the then\u00a0Johannesburg\u00a0\u201cNative Municipal Brass Band\u201d. His schoolmates became interested in playing instruments after seeing how good Masekela had become. This then brought about the formation of South Africa\u2019s first youth orchestra, \u201cThe Huddleston Jazz Band.\u201d His style of play was an embodiment of his experiences, the conflict, agony, and the exploitation of South Africa in the 1950s and 1960. In 1956, Hugh Masekela joined Alfred Herbert\u2019s band that was known as the African Jazz Revenue. During the Manhattan brother\u2019s tour to South Africa in 1958, Hugh wounded up in the orchestra for the KING KONG. The music was written by Todd Matshikiza. The King Kong set South Africa\u2019s first record-breaking blockbuster in the country that period. Hugh Masekela left South Africa at the age of 21 in 1960. This would mark the beginning of his thirty years spell away from his country. Masekela left South Africa for New York, to Manhattan where he began music classes with the help of John Mehegan, Harry Belafonte, and Dizzy Gillespie. During this time, the golden era of jazz music was on top in the area and this is when Hugh started visiting the New York jazz scenes where he used to watch the likes of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Max Roach, and others who were all great in the jazz music. By the 1980s, Hugh was already known in many parts of the world and had made many achievements and won numerous awards. In 1981, Hugh Masekela moved to Botswana where he founded the International School of Music, partnering with Dr. Khabi Mngoma. Masekela grew bigger in the jazz industry. Several years later, he released Jive Records. This record helped Hugh set up a mobile studio in Gaborone. This is where he recorded the heat \u201cTechno Bush\u201d. Techno Bush launched Masekela\u2019s first dance that became a hit called \u201cDon\u2019t Go Lose It Baby\u201d. He continued to release more albums until 2016 when he dropped his 44th and final album, titled\u00a0No Borders.\u00a0In 2020, a collaborative album was released with another African legend, Nigerian drummer\u00a0Tony Allen. Among his most successful songs is\u00a0Grazing in the Grass\u00a0which was one of the biggest hits of 1968. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was a\u00a0Grammy Hall of Fame inductee in 2018. Other successful songs among many others are \u201cUp-Up and Away\u201d (1967), \u201cPuffin\u2019 On Down the Track\u201d (1968), \u201cRiot\u201d (1969), and \u201cDon\u2019t Go Lose It Baby\u201d (1984). Back in 2004, Hugh published his autobiography that he had co-authored with Dr. Michael Cheers known as \u201cStill Gazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela\u201d. \u00a0Marriages\u00a0 In 1964, he got married to South African born music songstress and activist, Miriam Makeba, while they were recording together in a band in the United States of America. However, the pair got a divorce in 1966, barely two years after their marriage. Although the union was a failure, the two did not severe their working relations as they continued to remain close as friends and working partners. After this marriage, he was briefly married to Chris Calloway in 1968. Chris was a daughter to American bandleader Cab Calloway. She was a singer and actress, but all these were not enough to hold the marriage for more than a year as it came to an end in the same year. Hugh subsequently married his second wife, \u201cElinam Cofie,\u201d in 1999 but divorced her in 2013 after 10 years of marriage. There was not so much that was revealed about their relationship and marriage as they kept it mostly away from public eyes. He has also been linked to other women including Jabu Mbatha and Haitian\u00a0Jessie Marie Lapierre. Sal Masekela (son) Sal Masekela whose full name is Selema Mabena Masekela is one of Hugh Masekela\u2019s children. He was born on August 28, 1971. He is an American singer, actor, sports commentator, and television host. His mother is Haitian, Jessie, and he has an older half-brother Nathan Gonzalez, who is a contestant on Survivor: Cook Islands. He grew up in Staten Island, New York, and Carlsbad, California, and attended Carlsbad High School. In his teens, he learned to surf, snowboard, and skateboard. As a youth, Sal toured the world with his Jazz musician father, Hugh Masekela and this rubbed off on him as he started his own band \u201cAlekesam.\u201d The band shares the same name with Sal\u2019s first movie which highlighted the relationship he shares with his father which is strengthened through music. He later went on to become an intern at Transworld Publications which is the home of\u00a0TW\u00a0Surf magazines,\u00a0TW\u00a0Snow,\u00a0and\u00a0TW Skateboarding.\u00a0This was the period that shaped his career. He has worked as a reporter and host for a good number of shows and events including; ESPN,\u00a0Daily 10, the\u00a0E!\u00a0network, NBC among others. He appeared as the host and executive\u00a0producer of VICE World of Sports. from April 2016. Sal\u00a0is the co-founder of Berkela Motion Pictures with Jason Bergh.\u00a0He also has a clothing company called\u201d Art of Craft.\u201d The company has a certain percentage which is donated to charity on every sale made. Jessie while Paula is a product of his relationship with Motshidisi Jennifer. Hugh Masekela Net Worth\u00a0 There are quite a number of musicians of African descent who have risen to become very successful in their own right. Impressively they have become global players who have both local and\u00a0international appeal and in return, their assets run into millions of dollars. For Hugh Masekela, he was arguably one of the richest musicians in Africa with an estimated net worth of\u00a0$275 million\u00a0before his demise in 2018. The South African Jazz legend who has made his mark in jazz music passed away on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018, after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer. He touched many lives with his outstanding work and this made many fans sad. After the news of his death was announced by family members, heartfelt tributes started pouring in. He was finally returned to earth on the 30th of January, 2018 at the Westpark Cemetery after a funeral at the Johannesburg Botanical Garden in Emmarentia. The Legacies That Would Never Fade\u00a0 https:\/\/twitter.com\/hughmasekela\/status\/955713727088775168?ref_srctwsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E955713727088775168%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3%2Ccontainerclick_1&ref_urlhttps%3A%2F%2Fbuzzsouthafrica.com%2Fhugh-masekela%2F 1. Hugh Masekela mastered the art of playing the trumpet soon after Trevor asked Uncle Sauda, the then leader of then,\u00a0Johannesburg\u00a0\u201cnative\u201d municipal brass band to teach him to play the trumpet. Masekela didn\u2019t take long to understand the skill and quickly went ahead to master how to play the trumpet. Soon, his schoolmates then became interested in the art which led to the formation of the Huddleston Jazz band. This was the first South African youth orchestra. 2. Hugh moved to Los Angeles by the late 1960s. Here, Hugh Masekela became friends with icons such as David Crosby Dennis Hopper and Peter Fond all of whom were hippie icons. It is also during this period that \u2018summer of love\u2019 heat in Los Angeles. 3. He won the Grammy for\u00a0Best Contemporary Pop Performance \u2013 Instrumental in 1968. 4. He\u00a0opened the Fifa Soccer World Cup kick-off\u00a0concert in South Africa. This opening event was held in Soweto\u2019s soccer city. 5. Hugh Masekela opened his own studio and a record labelled \u201cHouse of Masekela\u201d. The studio has already released its first music release that is; \u201cFriends\u201d. Friends is a four-CD collection of jazz standards featuring his pianist friend named Larry Willis. 6. In 2011, he received a lifetime achievement award at the World Music Expo (WOMEX) held in Copenhagen. This was one of the biggest achievements in his musical career. This has also helped propel his fame and grow his music fan base all over the world. In 2012, South African president\u00a0Jacob Zuma\u00a0honoured Hugh Masekela with the highest order in South Africa that is \u201cThe order of Ikhamanga\u201d. Hugh Masekela used his global reach to help in spreading the word on Africa\u2019s heritage restoration. 7. Hugh Masekela released a total of 49 studio albums between 1962 and 2016.