JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) -- Reggae legend Lucky Dube, one of South Africa's most famous musicians, was killed in an attempted car-jacking as he dropped his children off at a relative's house, his record label said Friday.
Reggae star Lucky Dube was much loved by his fellow South Africans.
Dube, 43, was killed in Johannesburg around 8 p.m. local time Thursday after someone tried to steal his car, Gallo Record Company said in a statement. Police said he was shot. The statement said Dube attempted to escape but died almost instantly from his wounds.
Dube was much loved by his fellow South Africans, and his death cast a shadow over festivities ahead of South Africa's highly-anticipated appearance in the rugby World Cup final with England this weekend.
News of his death was the headline in many Friday newspapers, knocking the World Cup off the front pages for the first time in days.
Callers to talk radio stations suggested the Springboks wear black armbands in remembrance of Dube when they take to the field Saturday in Paris.
Gallo Records called the death "senseless and random," and it was not clear whether Dube's attackers knew who he was.
South Africa is one of the most dangerous societies in the world. Figures from the South African Police Service show that from April 2006 to March 2007, more than 19,000 South Africans were murdered, more than 52,600 people were raped, and nearly 13,600 people were carjacked.
"It's very sad," said Mark Sutherland, London bureau chief for Billboard Magazine. "He's a big loss to the South African music business. (He was) one of their most successful artists and certainly one of their leading reggae artists."
Sutherland said Dube was an extremely respected musician who toured extensively around the world. Dube had just returned from a tour of the United States that stretched from California to New York.
His record company said Dube leaves "a great void" in the music industry after a 25-year career. Dube recorded 22 albums in Zulu, English and Afrikaans.
Born outside Johannesburg in 1964, Dube was named "Lucky" by his mother because he was the first child to be born after several failed pregnancies.
Dube started singing in 1982, joining a band playing Mbaqanga, or traditional Zulu music. It was only later that he began recording reggae tracks as a solo singer, but the genre was to dominate and define the remainder of his career.
Ivor Haarburger, the chief exectutive of Gallo Music Group, said he was deeply saddened by the loss.
"Lucky was not just an extraordinary artist, he was a personal friend," Haarburger said. "It's so sad to lose such a great friend and so tragically."
Dube is survived by his wife, Zanele, and his seven children: Bongi, Nonkululeko, Thokozani, Laura, Siyanda, Philani and three-month old Melokuhle. E-mail to a friend
CNN correspondent Robin Curnow contributed to this report.
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