Soweto Gospel Choir

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Soweto Gospel Choir
the choir in Graz, Austria (2014)
the choir in Graz, Austria (2014)
Background information
OriginSoweto, South Africa
Years active2002 (2002)–present

The Soweto Gospel Choir is a South African gospel group.


The Soweto Gospel Choir was formed in Soweto, South Africa, by David Mulovhedzi and Beverly Bryer, and producers Andrew Kay, David Vigo and Cliff Hocking. The more than 30-member ensemble blends elements of African gospel, Negro spirituals, reggae and American popular music. The group performed at the first of the 46664 concerts for Nelson Mandela and has since toured internationally several times.

Their albums Blessed, African Spirit and Freedom won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music Album in 2006, 2007 and 2018, respectively. [1]

On 7 July 2007 they performed at the South African leg of Live Earth. Also in 2007, they joined Robert Plant in contributing to Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Vanguard Records), performing their version of Domino's "Valley of Tears".

The group was featured on the Peter Gabriel/Thomas Newman song "Down to Earth", written for Pixar's 2008 film WALL-E. The song was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song at the 66th Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 81st Academy Awards.

The group performed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup final draw on 4 December 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa.[2]

In 2010 composer Christopher Tin's song "Baba Yetu", which featured the group, won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). The song had originally been produced for Firaxis Games's 2005 PC title Civilization IV, but Tin enlisted the Soweto Gospel Choir to re-record the song for inclusion on his debut album, Calling All Dawns, leading to the song's nomination and award. This marked the first time a video game composition had won or been nominated for the category.

The group collaborates with American publishing company MusicSpoke ( to publish transcriptions of a number of its pieces, including "Balm of Gilead," "Hloholonofatsa," "Ke Na Le Modisa," "Khumbaya," "Shosholoza," "Somlandela," and "Swing Down Sweet Chariot." These are also linked on the group's website,


  • Voices from Heaven (Shanachie Records, 2005)
  • Blessed (Shanachie, 2006)
  • African Spirit (Shanachie, 2007)
  • Grace (Shanachie, 2010)
  • Freedom (Shanachie, 2018)

Contributions with Christopher Tin[edit]

Other contributions[edit]

Pray for me: off the album "UNCLAD" by Nigeria's Darey Art Alade (2015)


  1. ^ "Soweto Gospel Choir's GRAMMY Awards history". RECORDING ACADEMY GRAMMY AWARDS. Recording Academy. 4 January 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Draw ignites FIFA World Cup fever". FIFA. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  3. ^ One song, "Baba Yetu", performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
  4. ^ Two songs, "Iza Ngomso" and "Waloyo Yamoni", performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
  5. ^ One song, "Valley of Tears", performed with Robert Plant.

External links[edit]