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The South African reggae musician, Lucky Dube, has been shot dead in front of his children in Johannesburg, South Africa during an attempted car hijacking. He had been dropping his teenage son and daughter off in the suburb of Rosettenville on Thursday evening. Police say they were already out of the car when three shots were fired through a car window killing their father. One of South Africa's most popular artistes, Lucky Dube toured the world singing about social problems.

According to a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report from the scene on Thursday night, Dube's silver-grey Chrysler was surrounded by a group of investigating officers who saw blood stains on the seats of his car while the car's window was equally shattered. Police said after the shots were fired, the car rolled a few metres down the road and crashed into a tree. "He was declared dead on the scene," Police inspector Lorrain Van Immareck said. She said it was suspected that three people were responsible for the attack.

Earlier this year, Lucky Dube told the BBC how he came by his name. "When I was born I was sick so they thought I was going to die so they didn't give me a name till I was six months or so... They waited for me to die, but when I didn't die they said, 'Wow, he's a very lucky boy!' So they called me Lucky," he said. He began his career by singing mbaqanga (traditional Zulu) music and recorded his first album with the Super Soul band in 1982. He later moved into reggae, producing Rastas Never Die and Think About The Children in 1984. His albums Slave, Prisoner and Together as one saw him gain first national, and then global, recognition. Three years ago his 1989 anti-apartheid hit Together as one, which calls for world peace and harmony, was voted one of Africa's top 10 songs by BBC readers and listeners. Lucky Dube released his most recent album, Respect, in April.

Dube's death has since become the topic of the moment with many condemning the dastardly act, and mourning the loss of the music icon. Mr. Jordan of the Ministry of Arts and Culture in South Africa was one of the first to comment on the death of the musician, saying that the incident marked a sad day in the history of his country.

He said, Dube was not just a global ambassador for South African musical talent, music and heritage, but also a world-renowned African composer, singer, band leader, cultural activist, visionary and performer.

Said he: "Above all, we wish to express our heartfelt thanks for his life. He was one of the most important and relevant reggae voices to come out of this country in the 20th century… We state it categorically that crime is everybody's problem in this country. Of course, as Government we are not just concerned by its prevalence but doing something to address it… We condemn this senseless and violent killing of an artiste who nourished our souls as a nation, articulated the experience and aspirations of the people and used his talent to give us our identity, musical heritage and culture."

The record label of Lucky Dube, Gallo Record Company, has also described his death as a tragic loss.

"Senseless and random, the death of Lucky Dube leaves a great void in the music industry as 25 years of music suddenly ends in tragedy," the company said.

Born in Ermelo on August 3, 1964, his birth was considered a blessing to the mother who had suffered series of failed pregnancies. Hence his name Lucky. Dube grew up in abject poverty. As a child he worked as a gardener, but soon stopped that for school when he realized that he was not earning enough to feed his family. He soon joined a choir and later, with some friends, formed his first musical group called the Skyway Band. He discovered Rastafari movement while in school, but abstained from drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes or marijuana.