Dolly Rathebe

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Celebrated South African vocalist influenced by Westerners like Ethel Waters and Ella Fitzgerald.
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With her soulful vocals and dynamic stage persona, Dolly Rathebe is one of South Africa's most influential singers. Having made her debut as an actress in South Africa's first full-length feature film Jim Comes to Jo'burg, in 1949, Rathebe became an international star when she agreed to sing with Afro-jazz group, the Elite Swingsters in 1964.

In the early '70s, Rathebe left her musical career to run a shebeen in Cape Town. She didn't return until 1989 when the Elite Swingsters reunited to perform in a film based in Johannesburg during the 1950s. The reunion proved so successful that the group agreed to stay together. Their first album following their reformation, Woza, was released in 1991 and was followed by Now Or Never in 1994 and Siya Gida – We Dance the following year.