PJ Powers is a South African singer who has recorded 15 albums and is best known for her UK chart hit "World in Union" (with Ladysmith Black Mambazo) in 1995.
She started her music career at the age of 19, when she formed part of the all-girl group Pantha in 1979 as lead vocalist. She then gained experience as lead vocalist in the rock band Hotline from 1980 to 1987, after which she launched her solo career.
Her love for traditional African music has seen her produce many hits that have appealed to African audiences in many Southern African countries and this strong relationship with native African music has seen her receive the nickname “Thandeka” or “the loved one”.
She was banned from radio and television in 1988 by the then apartheid government for her performance at a charity concert in Zimbabwe with Miriam Makeba and Harry Belafonte. Nelson Mandela, imprisoned at the time, sent her encouraging words from his cell in Victor Verster prison saying that she should continue her singing.
Her collaborations have seen her work with Vicky Sampson, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and M'du Masilela. She has shared the stage with the likes of Eric Clapton, Hugh Masekela, Janet Suzman and Richard E. Grant.
Her collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo on the song World in Union, which was performed at the Rugby World Cup in 1995, was the event that shot her to superstardom.
In 2010 she appeared as a judge on the fourth season of the reality competition television series Popstars, on e.tv.