Johannesburg - Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana lamented the death of singer Busi Mhlongo on Thursday, saying she gave a new voice to South African music.
"In this way she helped extend possibilities within the national cultural landscape and contributed to the development of world music," Xingwana said in a statement issued by her office.
"At a time when women musicians were not accorded the recognition that they ought to have received, Busi Mhlongo was truly a trailblazer who defied a male-dominated society and asserted a woman's voice with great power," she said of Mhlongo, who was the first woman to record Maskanda.
Mhlongo died on Tuesday as a result of breast cancer.
The Pan Africanist Congress was saddened by her death.
"Mhlongo's music could be characterised as edutainment since it sought to educate and entertain at the same time," said spokesperson Lehlohonolo Shale.
"She was never shy to promote indigenous African music - a rarity in the so-called new South Africa."