Soweto Gospel Choir wins prestigious Grammy Award

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

The Soweto Gospel Choir won a prestigious Grammy Award on Sunday, cementing their position as a globally competitive singing outfit.

The group were judged tops in the best traditional world music category during the 49th yearly Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. This was for their second career album, Blessed.

The gospel choir was one of two classical music outfits that represented the country at the awards ceremony. The other was the world renowned isicathamiya troupe Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Mambazo did not win anything this time.

The 26-member choir is known for its extensive international schedule, having travelled and performed in the Caribbean, Germany, the US and other countries in the past three years.

The choir is produced by Beverly Bryer, and the musical director is David Mulovhedzi.

Meanwhile back home, the choir continues to receive congratulatory messages.

"Cosatu congratulates the Soweto Gospel Choir on its stunning victory.

"Let us hope that their triumph will convince the local media, especially the public broadcaster, the SABC, to devote far more airtime to our brilliant local musicians, actors and creative artists in all sectors of arts and culture, who are of world-class standard, as the Soweto Gospel choir has proved," said union spokesman Patrick Craven, pictured.

"The choir has sung alongside such icons as Bono, Peter Gabriel, Queen, Diana Ross, Johnny Clegg and Jimmy Cliff, and has been heralded as the most exciting group to emerge in world music in years," said Universal Records, their recording company.

The choir is expected back in the country this afternoon.