Africa's best-known group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo have released over 50 albums and compilations in the last three decades. Founded by Joseph Shabalala in the early 1970s, their contribution to Paul Simon's 1986 album Graceland brought them world recognition, and their trademark blend of church choral music with Zulu tradition has won them fans the world over.
Alongside Paul Simon, they have recorded with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Dolly Parton, Ben Harper, Mavis Staples, The Corrs and George Clinton. In 1999, Heinz Baked Beans used a Mambazo song for a TV ad that sold over one million CDs. Time does not seem to be slowing down the group, as they continue to travel the world, reaching new audiences and bringing out new recordings. The group has devoted itself to the consciousness-raising of South African culture, as well as Joseph's intention to fund his country's Music Academy during their U.S. tours.
While their last few albums have been eclectic collaborations with other vocalists, and even classical orchestras, Ilembe King Of Kings brings Ladysmith back to what they do best, a selection of beautifully crafted songs penned by Joseph Shabalala, with soulful harmonies, sung acapella.