Today, Google is celebrating South African singer and political activist Miriam Makeba.
Makeba was born in Johannesburg in 1932. Her professional career began in 1950 as part of the jazz group the Manhattan Brothers. Shortly after that, Makeba joined an all-female group called the Skylarks. In 1956, she scored her first hit “Pata Pata.”
After visiting the United States, Makeba was denied entry back into South Africa in 1960. For thirty years, Makeba lived in exile. She returned to her home country in 1990, shortly after Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
In her long career, Makeba won a Grammy award, sang for President John F. Kennedy, and became a “citizen of the world.” In her lifetime, Makeba held nine different passports and honorary citizenship in ten different countries. Throughout her exile, Makeba was a strong anti-apartheid activist.
Makeba died in 2008 after suffering a heart attack performing her first hit, “Pata Pata.” Today would have been her 81st birthday.
In today’s Google Doodle, the famed singer serves at the second “g” in the refashioned logo.