Google is honoring the late Miriam Makeba with a special doodle today, on what would have been her 81st birthday.
Makeba, known around the world as Mama Africa, died on November 9, 2008 after a performance in Italy. She had a very successful musical career that included stints with the Manhattan Brothers, a female group called the Skylarks, and roles in South African theater — all before she launched a solo career that included performances with Harry Belafonte and Paul Simon.
She was also an outspoken opponent of apartheid in her native country of South Africa. The government there cancelled her passport in 1960; and, after she testified against apartheid before the United Nations in 1963, it revoked her citizenship. She didn’t return until 1990, after Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.