Yvonne Chaka Chaka


Yvonna Chaka Chaka is one of South Africa’s most loved singers. Today she is also a notable entrepreneur and humanitarian. Born Yvonne Machaka in Dobsonville, Soweto in 1965, she appeared on SABC television as early as 1981. She first hit the South African music charts as a teenager in 1984 with the smash hit "I'm in Love with a DJ" on the Dephon label. The disco sounds - shaped by the producer Sello 'Chicco' Twala - built on the mbaqanga roots of urban South African music, but with a synthesized edge and English lyrics. The sound soon became known as 'bubblegum", and Yvonne Chaka Chaka (alongside Brenda Fassie) was to remain at the forefront of the genre for much of the 1980s. In 1988 she had a massive hit with ‘Umqombothi’, a celebration of African sorghum beer. The song was remixed by Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) and released internationally. It later featured in in the 2005 movie Hotel Rwanda. By the late 1980s Yvonne Chaka Chaka was becoming popular all over Africa, playing stadium concerts in Nigeria, Kenya and Zaire.

Aside from the South African exiles, she was South Africa's primary musical icon in Africa, a legacy she still enjoys today. Inspired by her extensive travels on the continent, she shed her disco image, and embraced her new image as "Princess of Africa", releasing albums such as Be Proud To Be African (1990) and The Rhythm Of Life (1991). During the 1990s, she continued to tour and sell albums in almost every sub-Saharan country. She has performed for numerous African Heads of State, as well as Queen Elizabeth and former US President Bill Clinton. She released the album Yvonne and Friends in late 2000.

In recent years she has spread her wings, becoming a successful talk show host and businesswoman, establishing her own promotions company, music label and foundation. She is a patron of numerous charity campaigns. In 2009 she turned to acting, playing the lead role in the film 'Foreign Demos'. She remains a prominent and much-loved figure in the entertainment industry. In 2012 she released her 22nd album, 'Amazing Man'.


Track artwork
Yvonne Chaka Chaka - Thank You Mr DJ


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Yvonne Chaka Chaka
Profile added by DJ Okapi on 26 May 2014
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