Real name: Brenda Nokuzola Fassie
Effective period / Period of releases: 1987 - 2004Brenda Fassie (born November 3, 1964, Langa, Cape Town – died May 9, 2004) was a South African anti-apartheid Afropop singer.
Wildly popular black South African singer (primarily kwaito and mbaqanga) from the Cape Town township of Langa whose career started at the age of 16 after she moved to Soweto (near Johannesburg). Her first big hit came in 1983 with "Weekend Special", in a band named Brenda and the Big Dudes (which was also released internationally as a 12" maxi through ccp Record Company). Legendary status was bestowed upon her later during the 1980's when she teamed up with Sello "Chicco" Twala. Their explosive musical interaction culminated in the monster album "Too Late For Mama" which became a multi-platinum seller in 1989 and rose to the top of most South African charts. Several self-produced albums followed, showcasing her diverse talents, skills and styles. Teaming up again with Chicco, the 1998 release "Memeza" became South Africa’s best selling release of the year, selling 500,000 units and earning Brenda several South African music awards as well as new fans with the smash "Vul’indela".
"The girl with the golden voice", "South Africa’s queen of pop", "undisputed queen of the vocals" are some of the names this most enduring star has been called during her 24-year career. Time Magazine itself referred to the bisexual singer as "The Madonna of the Townships". Fans affectionately refer to her as "MaBrrr".
Brenda died as a result of a cocaine overdose on May 9, 2004.