Tributes have poured in for former Stimela frontman Raymond Chikapa 'Ray' Phiri
Phiri had been battling lung cancer and was being treated at a Nelspruit hospital when he passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Most fans remember him as the founding member of the soul music group, the Cannibals in the 1970s.
Rest In Peace to one of South Africa's musical greats, Ntate Ray Phiri. Your music will live on forever🙏💔 pic.twitter.com/7nCTcliXn9— Maps Maponyane (@MapsMaponyane) July 12, 2017
This Ray Phiri passing is far more difficult than it was hearing Michael Jackson is no more. If you grew up in the 80s & 90s you'll know😢— Songezo Zibi (@SongezoZibi) July 12, 2017
Phiri cemented his great contribution to South Africa's musical culture with the success of Stimela.
He established the musical group, with whom he produced gold- and platinum-winning albums like Fire, Passion and Ecstasy, Look, Listen and Decide as well as the memorable People Don’t Talk So Let’s Talk.
He was honoured with a Lifetime Achiever Award at the 18th Annual MTN South African Music Awards.
Acknowledging the award in a 2012 interview with Eyewitness News, Phiri shared how he still had so much more to do.
It's like they are saying to me hey, come here, take a bow and get out of here, but I am not going to get out because I will always remain in people's heads....— Ray Phiri, jazz musician
WATCH: Upclose and Personal with Ray Phiri