[South Africa], Dec 26 (ANI): Legendary South African musician Robbie Malinga on Monday took his last breath.
This came as a shock amidst the Christmas celebrations in the country.
"South Africans will miss a genius in music," his friend TK Nciza, TS Records founder, told, as reported by Channel24.
He described Malinga, who he said was 49-years-old, as the "funniest guy" he had ever met and a "serious stalwart".
Malinga was "the Hugh Masekela of our time", said Nciza, adding that he helped build the careers of many.
Nciza said that if there was one person who would remind him of a church or God, then it was Malinga.
The veteran musician, who suffered from anaemia, announced his retirement as a solo artist in 2016, after more than 20 years in the industry.
Following his death celebrities, fans and admirers took to Twitter to pay tribute.
Television presenter Maps Maponyane wrote, "Sad to hear the news of the passing of music legend Robbie Malinga. A man still full of so much life. May you Rest In Peace.RIPRobbieMalinga"
South Africa Minister of Police tweeted, "We will NEVER forget u Robstar you'll b remembered as one among the greatest in Mzantsi producer,composer, music vocalist par exellence. #RIPRobbieMalinga"
"Legend down Sad day for South African music Go well Aya Rob #RIPRobbieMalinga," posted a fan.
"This is so sad #RIPRobbieMalinga Robbie Malinga Was A Living Legend," wrote another. (ANI)