10 Most Iconic Artists In South African Music Industry

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

We count 10 0f the most iconic artists in the history and current South African music industry.

Before we begin with our list let us first define the word 'Icon' . A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration. So all the artists that you will be seeing on this list are all representatives of style, dance, an era or just simply themselves. Here are the 10 Most Iconic Artists In The South African Music Industry.


Real name Zander Tyler, known for rapping in Afrikaans and wearing bigger than life hats. Jack Parow is also a member of the infamous group 'Die Antwoord' .He has always aspired to be a rapper since his primary school days. What sets this rapper apart from the rest is that he became one of the very first people to rap in Afrikaans. His sense of fashion also makes him quite distinguished.

9. The Parlotones

This South African Rock Band attracted a lot of people who wouldn't normally regard themselves as rock music fanatics, that's because The Parlotones gave us hit after hit such as 'Push Me To The Floor' and 'Star Dust' to name a few. They also dominated the award scene since breaking into the industry back in year 2006 and till to this date they are still receiving nominations for 'Best Rock

Album' and 'Best Music Video' at the South African Music Awards.

8. Sjava

Born in Bergville,Kwa Zulu Natal. This famous rapperbrose to fame from back in his acting days on the drama series ' Zone 14' and 'uGugu no Andile' in 2009 . Since then Sjava ventured into music on a professional level. He debuted his album 'Isina Muva' back in 2016. He is being hailed the man of the moment after scooping an award at the BET's for 'Viewers Choice Best International Act Award and even though his fashion style is not understood by many ,it sure does make him stand out.

7. Lebo Mathosa

Most popular South African kwaito singer. She was also part of the Afro Pop band group 'Boom Shaka' in 1994 . Lebo was well known for her dyed blonde hair, her stage presence that could give international stars a run for their money. Mathosa gave us hits after hits with the likes of 'Ntozabantu' and 'Awudede' which make us go crazy even to this date, whenever we hear her songs we still dance in excitement that we lived during the time of this amazing artist. Her death touched many and her music still gets a lot of airplay due to many fans who have an undying love for her.

6. Casper Nyovest

Born in Mafikeng and being a 90's kid. This rapper has raised the bar high for any aspiring rapper out there. Casper will go down in our history books as the first rapper in the country to fill up not one but three soccer stadiums namely Orlando Stadium in 2016, FNB Stadium in 2017 and Moses Mabhida in 2018. If this doesn't make you super inspired

then nothing will.He is definitely one artists who keeps his fans on toes with anticipation for his next move.

5. Sho Madjozi

She deserves a citizen of the world citIizenship. Madjozi has travelled to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania as a child and also spent some time in Senegal before coming back to South Africa. Born in Limpopo in Shelly Village,she never thought she'd one day be a BET Award winner. In 2019 she received the BET Award for 'Best New International Act'.The country has fallen head over hills in love with her uniqueness and her true essence. She made wearing a 'Xibelani' look cool.

4. Lucky Dube

Anyone who listens and doesn't listen to Reggae music knows who Lucky Dube is and what his passion was about. Lucky Dube was passionately part of the Rastafarai movement and his music was centralised around the Raggae genre. In 1996 he released a compilation album titled 'Serious Reggae Business' that

gave him the 'Best Selling African Recording Artist' at the World Music Awards and ever since, he has been reigned as the 'Reggae King'.

3. Hugh Masekela

A true master of all trades. Bra Hugh Masekela was a South African trumpeter , flugelhornist, cornetist, singer and composer. He was exiled for 30 years and being so far away from home made him more eager to be the voice for the voiceless during the Apartheid Era. His songs talk of the struggles that were

faced by many, who were living under the oppression of the Apartheid regime. He became a household name even when things were terrible in the country and his music gave people hope. It's been a little over a year since his passing. His music still echoes in the hearts of many South Africans and the world at large.

2. Miriam Makes

Mama Africa, as she was called by many around the globe. Mama Africa was an advocate against Apartheid in South Africa. She received a Grammy Award for her album she released in 1965 titled 'An Evening With Belafonte. Mama Africa was among the first African Musicians to receive worldwide recognition. She gave many hope to look forward to a better future. ALUTA CONTINUA.

1. Brenda Fassie

Famously known as MaBrrr. Brenda Fassie is a singer and a songwriter. She left Cape Town for Soweto to persue her music ambition. She was once a lead singer for 'Brenda And The Big Dudes' . She later on took on her Solo career and became very popular with hit singles like 'Weekend Special' and 'Nomakanjani' . Although she was once controversial and in the newspapers for things other than her music, she continued to solider on and gave little worry to what people said about her. This made the public to fall in love with her even more.

Do let us know which artists you think should have been or not on this list by using our comment section.

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