Google is paying homage to trumpeter and human rights advocate Hugh Masekela with a new Doodle. Image courtesy of Google
April 4 (UPI) -- Google is paying homage to trumpeter and human rights advocate Hugh Masekela with a new Doodle in honor of what would have been his 80th birthday.
Masekela was born in the town of Witbank, South Africa, where he got his first instrument at the age of 14. He got to play with the Jazz Epistles, the first all-black jazz band, to record an album in South Africa before they were forced to leave by the country's apartheid government.
Masekela, also known as a singer, bandleader and composer, went to New York and attended the Manhattan School of Music.
On the advice of jazz legends such as Miles Davis, Masekela released his debut album in 1963 titled Trumpet Africaine. The musician's 1968 single "Grazin' in the Grass" would later reach the top of the U.S. pop charts.
Masekela's music in 1990, such as his song "Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)," became the soundtrack for Nelson Mandela being released from prison back in South Africa.
Named the father of South African jazz, Masekela died in January 2018 at the age of 78. He released more than 40 solo albums throughout his career and performed at the opening ceremony at the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg.
Masekela collaborated with other greats such as Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.
Google's homepage features artwork of Masekela playing the trumpet alongside the Google logo.