Lucky Philip Dube (pronounced duu-beh; 3 August 1964 – 18 October 2007) was a South African reggae musician and Rastafarian. He recorded 22 albums in Zulu, English and Afrikaans in a 25-year period and was South Africa's biggest-selling reggae artist.
Lucky Dube was born in Ermelo, formerly of the Eastern Transvaal, now of Mpumalanga, on 3 August 1964. His parents separated before his birth and he was raised by his mother who named him Lucky because she considered his birth fortunate after a number of failed pregnancies.
As one of the first artists to bring African reggae to the mainstream, Dube bridged cultural gaps within the African diaspora. What Lucky Dube's music did was "[present] a praxis of cross-culturality and visionary possibility" that the diaspora at large tends to erase. Dube gave Africa a voice and put its culture on the global stage by joining the global reggae community.
Through taking Jamaican roots music back to its roots, he recontextualized the oppression and political struggles that reggae seeps itself in, bringing the basis of the diaspora back in conversation with the diaspora at large to allow for a more pan-African form of cultural expression.
Dube's roots reggae brought African people to the table in terms of conversation about the black diaspora by mimicking Caribbean artists' assertions of African authenticity or racial utopia.
Lucky Dube ultimately shows how Africans have to find their way into the conversations of the Black Diaspora by mimicking their assertions of African authenticity or racial utopia. Dube catalyzed roots reggae's appearance as a popular form of protest song. This helped “legitimize and strengthen the oppositional gesture in popular African music and culture, particularly for those generations born after decolonization.
On 18 October 2007, Lucky Dube was killed by robbers at a Johannesburg suburb called Rosettenville. shortly after dropping two of his seven children off at their uncle's house. Dube was driving his Chrysler 300C, which the assailants were after. Police reports suggest he was shot dead by carjackers who did not recognize him and believed that he was Nigerian. Five men were arrested in connection with the murder; three were tried and found guilty on 31 March 2009. Two of the men attempted to escape and were caught.The men were sentenced to life in prison.