Mzansi's legendary gospel singer and songwriter Dr Rebecca Malope is celebrating her 52nd birthday today. The 'African Queen of Gospel' has inspired and given hope to many South Africans with her healing and worship songs since 1984.
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Briefly.co.za takes a look at five interesting facts about the gospel great who has sold at least 10 million copies worldwide. The singer and TV host is married to businessman Themba Tshabalala and has released a whopping 36 albums.
Rebecca Malope was born in 1968 in Lekazi near Neslpruit in Mpumalanga. In her early age she was confined to a wheelchair after an illness. Doctors believed she would be unable to walk on her own.
2. Music competitions entered
In 1985, Rebecca entered the Shell Road to Fame television contest with the band she was with but they were eliminated in the first round of the competition.
In 1987, Rebecca entered the competition again but this time as a solo artist. She won in the category of Female Vocalist with her gospel song titled Shine On.
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3. Debut album
Ribs, as she is fondly known by her peers, released her debut album Sthembile Kuwe which only had one gospel song on it. The rest of the songs were disco songs. The gospel song was more well-received than the pop songs on the album.
4. First award
In 1990, Rebecca released Buyani. The album achieved double platinum status and she won Best Female Vocalist at the OKTV Awards, beating pop star Brenda Fassie.
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Dr Rebecca Malope received an honorary doctorate from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of California for her contribution to the music industry
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