Johnny Clegg

Johnny Clegg Bio: He was a South African musician and anthropologist, Best known as Johnny Clegg; Le Zoulou Blanc.

He has recorded and performed with his bands Juluka and Savuka, and more recently as a solo act, occasionally reuniting with his earlier band partners.


Quick Bio
Full NameJonathan Clegg OBE OIS
Birth Date7 June 1953
Birth PlaceBacup, United Kingdom
Age66 years
Died16 July 2019
SpouseJenny Clegg
ChildrenJesse Clegg
Profession Musician
Net WorthUpdate Soon

Johnny Clegg Biography

Jonathan Clegg OBE OIS was born on 7 June 1953 and died on 16 July 2019. He has died at the age of 66.

He was born to an English father and a Rhodesian mother. His mother’s family were Jewish immigrants from Poland, and Clegg had a secular Jewish upbringing, learning about the Ten Commandments but refusing to have a bar mitzvah or even associate with other Jewish children at school.

Clegg’s parents divorced when he was still an infant, and he moved with his mother to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and then, at the age of 6, to South Africa,[3] also spending less than a year in Israel during childhood.

He encountered the demi-monde of the city’s Zulu migrant workers’ music and dance. Under the tutelage of Charlie Mzila, a flat cleaner by day and musician by night.

Clegg mastered both the Zulu language and the maskandi guitar and isishameni dance styles of the migrants.


Clegg pursued an academic career for four years, lecturing at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the University of Natal, and writing several seminal scholarly papers on Zulu music and dance.

In the early stages of his musical career, Clegg combined his music with the study of anthropology[6] at Wits, where he was influenced, among others, by the work of David Webster, a social anthropologist who was later assassinated in 1989.

He preceded each song with snippets of Zulu culture, information, commentary, humor and personal anecdotes relevant and unique to that song. An engaged social anthropologist, he not only mastered the theories but delved into the culture and disseminated it.

Johnny Clegg Wife, Children, Personal Life

Johnny Clegg married to Jenny Clegg in 1988.

Clegg’s son Jesse Clegg is also a recording artist. Displaying a style markedly different from that of his father, in 2008 he released his debut album When I Wake Up.

As a rock musician, the younger Clegg has quickly built up a following, with the album being nominated for two South African Music Awards.

Death and Cause

Clegg was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015. Clegg died in his Johannesburg home on 16 July 2019 at the age of 66.

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