Prominent musician Andy Brown died yesterday.
He was 50.
Tsungi Zvobgo, manager to Brown’s former wife Chiwoniso Maraire, confirmed the veteran musician’s death, saying he had succumbed to pneumonia at a local hospital.
“Yes, I can confirm that Andy is no more. He died of pneumonia and that’s all I can say as of now,” Zvobgo said.
Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu, who is also the patron of the Zimbabwe Union of Musicians, said he was “devastated” by Brown’s death.
“I am really shocked, devastated,” he said last night.
“As I speak, I am on my way to his residence to establish whether indeed it’s true.”
There was also an outpouring of grief on social networks as Zimbabweans mourned one of the country’s best musical talents to emerge after independence.
Brown’s career, spanning over two decades, started in Bulawayo where he created his first band, Impact. He later moved to Harare and joined groups that include Grabb and Rusike Brothers.
But he scaled dizzy heights when he moved to Ilanga in 1986, partnering legends such as Don Gumbo and Busi Ncube to form one of the most successful outfits of that era.
After recording such hits as True Love with Ilanga, Brown went solo in 1989 and formed his own band, The Storm.
He went on to unleash hits such as Mapurisa and Daisy.
His fortunes, however, took a nosedive around the turn of the millennium when he joined Zanu PF’s praise-singing bandwagon.
Former Information and Publicity minister Jonathan Moyo, who was at the forefront of the party’s propaganda machinery at the time paid tribute to Brown.
“He was a people’s musician, and certainly ranked among the best ever produced by our country,” Moyo told an online publication.
“The sad thing is that he is gone too soon before the country and the wider community experienced or heard his best music.”
Funeral arrangements were not clear by last night.