Famous South African Singers

Find out more about the greatest South African Singers, including Watkin Tudor Jones, Dave Matthews, Miriam Makeba, Shaun Morgan and Tammin Sursok.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite South African Singers

 1 Yolandi

Yolandi.
6
Famous As: Singer, Actress
Birthdate: December 1, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Port Alfred, Eastern Cape
South African rapper Anri du Toit, better known as Yolandi Visser, performs as part of the rap-rave group Die Antwoord, which has released hits such as Enter the Ninja. She has also starred in films such as Chappie. She is known for her signature blonde hair and outrageous fashion sense.

 2 Dave Matthews

Dave Matthews.
4
Famous As: Lead vocalist and guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band.
Birthdate: January 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Johannesburg
South African-born American singer Dave Matthews gained fame as the lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Dave Matthews Band. Known for hits such as So Much to Say, Some Devil, and Gravedigger, he has won two Grammys, one with the band and the other as a solo artist. 

 3 Watkin Tudor Jones

Watkin Tudor Jones.
10
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: September 26, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Johannesburg

Watkin Tudor Jones, better known as Ninja, is a South African rapper, songwriter, record producer, and director. He is a member of the rap-rave group Die Antwoord. He has been active in the hip hop scene since he was 13 and has played with numerous bands in his career. He is also an occasional actor.

 4 Glynis Johns

Glynis Johns.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 5, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa

The veteran British actress who belongs to the Golden Age of Hollywood is known for her stellar roles in films like Miranda, Third Time Lucky and State Secret. Glynis Johns is also a singer, distinguished by her husky voice. She acted on the stage and the television. The daughter of actor, Mervyn Johns, has a son from her first marriage.

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 5 Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba.
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 4, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Died: November 10, 2008

Miriam Makeba was a South African singer, actress, songwriter, civil rights activist, and United Nations goodwill ambassador. One of the first African musicians to make an impact on the international stage, Makeba is credited with popularizing Afropop genres. She also advocated against apartheid through music and played a major role in the civil rights movement.

 6 Shaun Morgan

Shaun Morgan
3
Famous As: Singer, Guitarist
Birthdate: December 21, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pietermaritzburg

Shaun Morgan is a South African singer-songwriter and musician. Morgan has been the longest-serving member of the popular rock band Seether where he plays the guitar and contributes with lyrics and vocals. Shaun Morgan is regarded as one of South Africa's most influential and popular rock guitarists of his generation.

 7 Trevor Rabin

Trevor Rabin
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 13, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa

Trevor Rabin is a South African singer-songwriter, musician, and film composer. Over the years Rabin has been a prolific film composer, winning several Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) film score awards. He was also an important member of the band Yes; he was made an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 as a member of Yes.           

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 8 Brenda Fassie

Brenda Fassie
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 3, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Langa
Died: May 9, 2004

Brenda Fassie was a South African dancer, singer, songwriter, and activist. Renowned for her bold on-stage antics, Fassie earned the nickname Madonna of The Townships. Also dubbed the Queen of African Pop, Brenda Fassie won five South African Music Awards and three Kora Awards during her illustrious career. She was also named in the Top 100 Great South Africans list.

 9 Blondie Chaplin

Blondie Chaplin
2
Famous As: Singer, Guitarist, Songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: July 7, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Durban

Blondie Chaplin is a South African guitarist and singer who contributed to the success of the rock band The Flames in the 1960s. He has also served as a backing vocalist, acoustic rhythm guitarist, and percussionist for the world-renowned English rock band The Rolling Stones.

 10 Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Yvonne Chaka Chaka
4
Famous As: singer
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Dobsonville

Yvonne Chaka Chaka is a South African singer, actress, songwriter, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and teacher. Nicknamed the Princess of Africa, Chaka Chaka has been one of the most prominent figures in South African popular music for nearly three decades. An internationally recognized personality, Chaka Chaka has performed for US President Bill Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II, and South African President Thabo Mbeki.

 11 Leon Botha

Leon Botha
2
Famous As: Painter, Singer, Disc jockey
Birthdate: June 4, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cape Town
Died: June 5, 2011

Leon Botha was a South African disk jockey and painter whose association with Die Antwoord made him popular throughout the country. He was also famous for being one of the longest-lived persons with progeria. Leon Botha's life and career inspired the one-act opera Solarize.

 12 Steve Hofmeyr

Steve Hofmeyr
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Famous As: Actor, Singer
Birthdate: August 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pretoria

South African actor-singer Steve Hofmeyr is best known for his role in Egoli: Place of Gold. He is also the former husband of actor Natasha Sutherland. He seems to have turned into controversy’s favorite child, with exaggerated claims of whites being killed in South Africa and his denial of apartheid.

 13 Caron Bernstein

Caron Bernstein
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Famous As: Actor, Musician, Film actor, Singer, Model, Beauty pageant contestant, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 16, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Johannesburg

Caron Bernstein is a painter, model, singer-songwriter and actress, all rolled into one. Born in South Africa, she started modeling for Ford Models at the age of fourteen, debuting in films at the age of 22 with Waxwork II: Lost in Time and shifting her focus to singing at the age of 23. Now a successful portrait-painter, she likes to capture the darker side of her subjects.

 14 Lebo Mathosa

Lebo Mathosa.
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 16, 1977
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Daveyton, Johannesburg, South Africa
Died: October 23, 2006

Lebo Mathosa was a South African singer best remembered for her association with the popular band Boom Shaka. Mathosa is credited with popularizing kwaito music among South African women. Her style, sexuality, and outrageous stage outfits inspired many youngsters and nonconformists. Her life and career inspired the 2019 biopic, Dream: The Lebo Mathosa Story. 

 15 Jonathan Butler

Jonathan Butler
4
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Jazz musician, Guitarist, Jazz guitarist
Birthdate: October 10, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Athlone, Cape Town

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Butler is known for his blend of R&B, jazz fusion, and worship music. He first soared to international fame with his Billboard-charting and Grammy-nominated hit Lies. Apartheid has been a main theme of many of his tracks. He won a Sarie Award as a teenager.

 16 Robert Calvert

Robert Calvert
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Famous As: Poet, Singer, Writer
Birthdate: March 9, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pretoria
Died: August 14, 1988

Better known as the resident poet of the space rock band Hawkwind, Robert Calvert was born in South Africa and later moved to England with his family. Initially a building surveyor, he later joined the counterculture movement of the late ‘60s. He is best remembered for songs such as Urban Guerrilla.

 17 Max Theiler

Max Theiler.
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Famous As: Virologist
Birthdate: January 30, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa
Died: August 11, 1972

Max Theiler was a South African-American virologist and physician. After getting his medical degree in South Africa, he went on to earn a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene in London. During his career, he developed a vaccine against yellow fever, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951. 

 18 Nikki Williams

Nikki Williams.
1
Famous As: Singer and Songwriter
Birthdate: November 9, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Nikki Williams is a South African singer and songwriter. Over the years Nikki Williams has contributed immensely as a songwriter, working with popular singers like Demi Lovato, Lauren Alaina, and Ronnie Milsap. In May 2013, Nikki Williams was included in Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month list. In the same year, she was also featured on the popular TV show, Today

 19 Johan Botha

Johan Botha
1
Famous As: Tenor
Birthdate: August 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rustenburg, South Africa
Died: September 8, 2016

Johan Botha was a South African operatic tenor whose career was marked with performances at iconic opera venues like the Vienna State Opera, Opéra Bastille, Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Royal Opera House, and Opera Australia. Johan Botha is credited with recording the most number of operas in the history of South African opera singing.

 20 Dorothy Masuka

Dorothy Masuka
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Died: February 23, 2019

Dorothy Masuka was a jazz singer whose music gained popularity in South Africa during the 1950s. Masuka's music had a strong influence on the people of South Africa, so much so that the government banned her song Dr. Malan which was about difficult laws in the country. She was exiled in 1961 when she performed a song for Patrice Lumumba.

 21 Simon Nkabinde

Simon Nkabinde
1
Famous As: South African singer
Birthdate: 1938 AD
Birthplace: Newcastle, South Africa
Died: July 27, 1999

Simon Nkabinde, better known as Mahlathini, a nickname that referred to his bushy hair, couldn’t afford education and thus grew up working odd jobs. Introduced to music by his elder brother, he later came to be known as the Lion of Soweto for popularizing his groaning style of mbaqanga music.

 22 Elizabeth Connell

Elizabeth Connell
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Famous As: Operatic soprano
Birthdate: October 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Died: February 18, 2012

Elizabeth Connell, South Africa-born internationally acclaimed operatic soprano, moved to UK on receiving scholarship to London Opera Centre. Two years later she made her debut as mezzo-soprano at Wexford Festival Opera, appearing in the Sydney Opera House in the following year. Later she switched to soprano, spending rest of her life in UK and Australia, excelling in numerous challenging roles.

 23 Stefan Benz

Stefan Benz.
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Famous As: Pop Singer
Birthdate: September 26, 2006
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: South Africa

Stefan Benz is a South African pop singer who has been winning the hearts of many music lovers all over the world. With songs like Cool 4 Me and Say What's In Your Eyes, Benz has managed to capture the attention of many and is widely being touted as the next Justin Bieber.

 24 Tumi Molekane

Tumi Molekane
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Famous As: Rapper, Poet
Birthdate: August 16, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tanzania