Smooth-voiced Gloria Bosman, a South African jazz musician with a career spanning more than two decades, has been recognised for her contributions to the country’s music industry.
Bosman died on Tuesday after a brief illness, according to her family.
“She transcended peacefully at her home, surrounded by family, after a brief illness,” the family said in a statement. “Gloria had devoted her life not only to her family but also to her music; she was loved and adored by many here in South Africa and beyond.”
Bosman, who was born in Soweto, was praised for her soothing, silky vocals and versatility in crossing over to different music genres.
The ruling African National Congress party in South Africa paid tribute to Bosman, saying the country’s music industry will suffer without her.
“Gloria Bosman is part of a generation of female musical greats who refused to accept patriarchal stereotypes in a male-dominated industry. In the creative sector, she was a fiery and militant revolutionary,” the ANC said in a statement.
Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, a South African jazz legend, was among the first to express his sadness at her death, tweeting that he was “sad, gutted, and shattered.”
Bosman began singing in churches and theatres, but a scholarship to study opera at the then-Pretoria Technikon (now the Tshwane University of Technology) was critical in her artistic development.
Later in her career, she returned to perform at the educational institution.
Her first album, “Tranquility,” was released to critical acclaim in 1999, earning her the Best Newcomer award at the South African Music Awards.
Her career took off, and she went on to win a second Sama award and 11 nominations, as well as two Africa-wide Kora awards and perform on numerous stages around the world.
Bosman collaborated with some of South Africa’s most notable musicians, including the late Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo, and Moses Molelekwa, as well as Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mutukudzi.
She was appointed to the board of the South African Music Rights Organization in December of last year, a body established to protect the intellectual property of music creators by collecting licencing fees and distributing royalties.
“As a composer and a performing artist, Ms Bosman added a perspective that included a rich blend of insights on member aspirations as well as the direction that our organisation should continue to march towards,” said Samro board chairman Nicholas Maweni.
Her memorial services and funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.