South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo was formed in 1964 by Joseph Shabalala in the town of Ladysmith, South Africa. The collective quickly gained prominence in its home country after winning multiple choral competitions, eventually being banned from competing because the group won every contest it entered. Though the choir released highly popular Zulu albums throughout the 1970s, it wasn't until its collaboration with Paul Simon on his 1986 Graceland album that the group garnered international acclaim. Both Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo were applauded for breaking the culture barrier between South African and the United States, in addition to the album receiving enormous critical acclaim. Since the end of apartheid, the group has had more freedom to tour the world and now acts as an educational choral group, teaching the world about traditional South African culture.
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