JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- South African's renowned jazz musician Hugh Masekela passed away on Tuesday from a prostate cancer.
Masekela died on Tuesday morning at the age of 78. The artist has been battling with the cancer since 2008.
The family issued a statement on Tuesday saying, "After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family."
Masekela have over 50 albums. During the Apartheid era he sang songs which criticized the government of the day and had to go to exile in 1960. He was in exile for 30 years. Masekela won the Grammy award for "Best Contemporary Pop Performance-Instrumental" in 2012.
South African President Jacob Zuma issued a statement mourning the respected artist.
"The nation mourns one of its most recognizable signature talent in the person of Bra Hugh Masekela. It is an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large. His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten," said Zuma.
Artists and political parties mourned the death of the artist.
In 2010 the South African government bestowed Masekela with Gold Medal of the Order of Ikhamanga for his contribution to arts.