Dubbed the Madonna of the townships or Queen of African pop, controversial singer Brenda Fassie who would have turned 58 today left a lasting impression on the South African music culture.
MaBrrr, as she was affectionately called, died in 2004 after suffering a severe asthma attack that triggered a fatal cardiac arrest.
Fassie was born in the Langa township in Cape Town and was the youngest of nine children. She gained her love for music from her mother, who was a pianist, and would reportedly sing to tourists from a young age.
She made her big debut on the musical scene with the hit Weekend Special along with her band, The Big Dudes, in 1983.
This was followed by songs many still enjoy today, such as Zola Budd, Amagents, Vulindlela, Too late for Mama and Black President – which was written about the late Nelson Mandela and released in 1990.
In celebration of the legend that is Brenda Fassie on her birthday, Universal Music Group makes her catalogue available across all DSPs. This also includes catalogue from Brenda and The Big Dudes. Now all of Brenda Fassie’s classics can be enjoyed in your own comfort. Digital will also be a new medium for some of the singles. Enjoy in honor of Brenda Fassie, the African pop queen.
STREAM & BUY MERCH : https://brendafassie.lnk.to/EverythingBrenda 1987
1983 – Brenda & The Big Dudes
The band was formed with Brenda Fassie (Vocals), Desmond Malotana (Keyboards), Dumisane Ngubeni (Keyboards), Job “Fats” Mlangeni (Drums), David Mabaso (Bass) and Rufus Klaas (Guitar). The debut album included the hit “Weekend Special” as well as “I’ve Got Feelings” and “Hot Shot”
1984 – Cool Spot
The group drop their EP titled “Cool Spot” This delivers the disco fused “Love Action” as well the hit “It’s Nice To Be With People” as well “Mirror Mirror
1984 – It all Adds Up
Brenda’s first solo outing, outside of the band. She collaborated with Ronnie Joyce. Described by many as the Michael Jackson of Cape Town, there is no doubt that Little Ronnie, who modelled his singing career around his late American idol, was the most adorable young singer of his era in South Africa
1985 – Touch Somebody
Just before releasing the “Higher and Higher album” 1985 saw the group deliver another EP which included the massive disco anthem “Touch Somebody” and the song inspired by her son titled “Bongani”. This was also the last EP/Album before Dumisane Ngubeni left the band.
1985 – Higher and Higher
The 1985 album “Higher and Higher” delivered the singles “Promises” and “Higher” often called” Higher and Higher” as well.
1986 – No! No! Señor
The album “No! No! Señor” delivered one of the groups biggest follow up singles to “Weekend” Special. The album also included the smash “Amalahle” as well as “Tender Care
1986 – American Hits
1986 saw several of the groups hits being reworked in USA and helped “Weekend Special” enter the USA Charts Top 100 for 8 weeks. The album included reworked versions of “Bongani” and “I Wanna Be Single Again” as well.
1987 – Brenda
1987 was the year Brenda Fassie broke away from “The Big Dudes” into her solo career. Her self-titled solo debut album that included the hits “Izola Bud” , “Jah Man” and “High Class”
1989 – Too Late For Momma
It would be 2 years before Brenda released another album and, it was worth the wait. “Too Late For Mama’s” title track became one of Brenda’s biggest solo career hits. The album also included the hit “Good Black Woman”
1990 – Black President
Fans didn’t have to wait long for Brenda’s 3rd solo album “Black President” that also included the controversial “Shoot Them Before They Grow Up”
1991 – Bad Girl
Brenda Fassie’s 1991 calssic release came with hits like “Ngiyakusaba” and “Malibongwe” which kept dancefloors full 1991 of movers and shakers.
1992 – Yo Baby
Not wanting to be mistaken or mislead, Brenda was sure of her story and herself. Her confidence flew past the roof and backed it up with singles such as ” Istraght Lendaba”
1995 – Umuntu Uyashintsha
3 years later, at the peak of her career, very few could be trusted. This inspired the album, ” Umuntu Uyashintsha”. This was expressed with smash hits “Ngeke Umconfirm” and “Umuntu” as to say that, trust a person to be themselves all the time.
1996 – Now Is The Time
Re-inventing herself, Brenda Fassie started moving in a direction of being a boss. There was never a better time than now, releasing her 11th studio album, ‘Now Is The Time”. This album came with kwaito inspired singles, ” Uwile”, “Kutheni” and “Nigyakuthanda Papa Wemba”.
1997 – Paparazzi
Full within her re-brand, MaBrrr gave us “paparazzi”. This was at a time South Africa’s Kwaito was forefront of the music industry. Due to that, Brenda Fassie gave us “Akusheshe Askush’ Akusheshe” and “Paparazzi”
1998 – Memeza
Granted as African Queen of Pop, Brenda Fassie produced “Memeza”. This life changing album was filled with hits that are timeless to this day, “Vula indlela”, “Memeza” and ” Sum’Bulala”. Brenda got deeper into her African roots to bless the world.
1999 – Nomakanjani
It would be just a year later that Brenda would follow up with “Nomakanajani”, her 14th studio album, which would go on to be one her most popular releases for lead single “Nomakajane” across the world.
2000 – Amadlozi
Including hits like “Thula Amadlozi” and “Nakupenda”, in 2000 Brenda gave us “Amadlozi” which is highly influenced by African elements and sounds.
2001 – Mina Nawe
With a dominant run of best-selling albums that included “Mina Nawe,” Brenda Fassie demonstrated her unrivaled enduring power. Brenda Fassie made it clear that she would maintain her momentum with songs like “Ngohlala Ngi Nje,” “Wewe,” and “Uyang’Embarasa” on her 15th studio album.
Myekeleni is South African singer Brenda Fassie’s seventeenth studio album. The album contained numerous hits, including “Come Duze” and “Mama, I’m Sorry.”
2003 – Mali
A year later, Brenda Fassie releases her 18th album, “Mali,” without taking her foot off the gas pedal. On this album, Brenda returns with songs like “Ngizilahlela Kuwe,” “Ponci Ponci (Pontjie Pontjie),” and “Ngwanona” that are good for the weekend.
2004 – Remix Collection
It was only fair to re-work some of the classics that Brenda had made into one Remix Collection, to relive the times.
2004 – Gimme Some Volume
Brenda would come back later in the year with her 19th studio Album a year later titled, “Gimme Some Volume”. You sure did increase the volume with classic such as “Matshidiso” and Malibonngwe” as they came on.
2006 – Sikekele
The African Queen of Pop gave us “Angiph’Endlini” a 2 years later. This album came with hits singles such as “Sikelele” and ” Akunamathatha”.
2006 – Malibongwe.
In 2006 we would be blessed with Brenda Fassie’s final offering, “Malibongwe”. Giving thanks to higher power, with this project.