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S. African Reggae Star Lucky Dube Killed in Attempted Car-Jacking


South African Reggae star Lucky Dube has been killed in an apparent car-jacking attempt. The 43-year-old musician was shot Thursday night in a suburb south of Johannesburg. Correspondent Scott Bobb reports from our bureau there.

South African police say the renowned Reggae musician was shot by three gunmen as he dropped off his son in the Rosettenville suburb of Johannesburg.

Police spokesperson Lorraine Van Emmerick told national radio that Lucky Dube's daughter also witnessed the shooting.

"He was hijacked. He was able to flee from the scene," said Van Emmerick. "His children were out of the vehicle at the time Mr. Dube was shot. He was declared dead at the scene by the paramedics."

Lucky Dube achieved world fame through music with a social message such as this 2003 song about the ravages of AIDS, called "Number in the Book."

He received some 20 awards during his 25-year career and was the first South African musician to be signed by the Motown recording label in the United States.

Born in 1964 to an impoverished family in northeastern Mpumalanga Province, Lucky Dube released his first album at the age of 18 years. He began his career performing the urbanized Zulu music called Mbaqanga. But he also recorded albums in Afrikaans, the language of the white minority.

Dube made his mark on the international scene with Reggae music and became one of the best-known African vocalists of the genre.

His first Reggae album, Rastas Never Die, was banned by the apartheid government in the mid-1980s.

The spokesman for Dube's Gallo music label, Arnold Mabunda says Dube was one of the country's most successful musicians.

"He was one of the biggest contributors in the South African music industry. Yeah. And now we are saddened," said Mabunda.

South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with nearly 20,000 homicides last year.

Many of the killings occur during robberies and hijackings. These are common in a country where one-half of the population lives on less than $2 per day.