Voted one of the top ten people brands in South Africa in 2011, PJ Powers is an icon of the people of South Africa. Famous since the eighties when she fronted the band “Hotline”, the largest selling band in South Africa at that time, this success continued into her solo career.
What has enabled her to sustain success in this pressurized industry? Her music has a style and a universal appeal and authenticity. She is a leader not a follower in all that she does. Her courageous stance against the apartheid Government led to her being banned in the late 80’s, entrenching her status even more throughout Africa.
In the newly free and democratic South Africa, it was Nelson Mandela himself who asked PJ to perform at the historically important event of the 1995 Rugby World Cup where she sang the “World in Union” with Grammy award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo. In 2009, PJ’s rendition of this song, was featured in the Academy Award nominated film, “Invictus”.
PJ has recently released her new album, “Destiny”, an album she feels is reflective of her life. Authentic, strong, with beautifully written songs, she tells her story in an honest and compelling way, once again, flouting the rules. When asked recently in an interview who was her target market, her reply was “anyone who has a story to tell, and who can relate to mine”
But, perhaps the greatest highlight of her life was receiving a letter thanking her for her contribution to the country from Nelson Mandela when he was in prison, still one of her most treasured possessions.
List of exceptional milestones
- 1987 received a letter from Nelson Mandela in prison thanking her for what she was doing for the country
- 2000 Nelson Mandela presented PJ Powers with a commemorative limited edition gold coin
- Appointed a South African Tourism Ambassador
- June 2003 the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation honoured her and singer Sibongile Khumalo with their prestigious annual award, promoting reconciliation by "singing people together"
- September 2003 food chain Pick 'n Pay nominated her as one of their "Stars of Charity" for having "made a difference in uplifting the youth of South Africa"
- In 2004 she was voted as one of the Top 100 Great South Africans.
- Won the Sarie Awards’ for best female artist 7 times consecutively
- Nominated for a Pick n Pay Children’s Choice award
- In 1995, her recording of the Rugby World Cup official song featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, "World in Union", reached no. 47 on the UK Singles Chart, She performed the song live at the opening of the 1995 Rugby World Cup in Cape Town for a worldwide television audience.
- PJ has shared the stage with Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading, Hugh Masekela, Divine Divas, Lord Richard Attenborough, Richard E. Grant, Sibongile Khumalo, Janet Suzman and other prestigious names.
- PJ has sung for Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
- She sang at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela
- She collaborated with Vicky Sampson, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and M'du Masilela for the music video flighted at the United Nations Assembly in Washington, D.C. and in Greece.
- PJ also wrote an 85th birthday song for Mandela, which she sang for him and guests including Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey at his party in 2003.
- PJ Powers has been extensively involved with the Reach For a Dream Foundation, as well as the Hamlet Foundation.
- She was commissioned by the Presidency to write and perform a song for the Children's Rights Commission – “Right to Learn”
- 10 gold discs
- 7 platinum discs
- Top 10 People brands in SA
- Most outstanding South African Award
- 2013 Living Legend Award
- Her Memoir, “Here I Am” published by Penguin books, released in August 2014.
- Nominated for Best Female Performance in a Musical – Naledi Awards 2015
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