If you are wondering what today’s Google Doodle image is all about, the African-style sketch of a woman singing into a microphone, in front of the Google logo, represents South African singer MIRIAM MAKEBA. Makeba – often nicknamed ‘Mama Africa’ was born on this day in 1932 and passed away in November 2008. Google have decided to honour her life’s achievements in artistic form, on their search engine home page today.

Makeba was considered the first African artist to popularize the music of South Africa around the world and was hugely popular in the 1960's when she was best known for the track ‘Pata Pata.’ The song was first released in 1957 but was released in the United States ten years later. Miriam Makeba went on tour with a number of popular American recording artists including Paul Simon and Harry Belafonte. She was also known for the novelty song ‘the Click Song,’ which incorporated the distinctive ‘clicking’ noises of her native Xhosa language.

In their obituary of Mama Africa, the New York Times described her as a “South African singer whose voice stirred hopes of freedom among millions in her country with music that was banned by the apartheid authorities she struggled against.” Makeba died at the age of 76. She collapsed as she was leaving the stage at a concert in Italy and died later that night.