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by Dave Thompson

South Africa was awarded the ‘Country of Honour' title at the prestigious MIDEM 2010 festival held in Cannes in January.

This resulted in by far the most diverse representation of South African artists ever to perform to a high powered international music industry audience.

Current South African Music Awards (SAMA) queen Lira, was joined by the Parlotones, who performed in Perth last October, ZuluBoy, Kurt Darren, Thandiswa Mazwai and the legendary Vusi Mahlasela, who has performed with Australian icons such as the John Butler Trio and Xavier Rudd in the past.

Kurt Darren, in particular, must be feeling very buoyant after achieving the number one spot on RSG's 2009 chart for his album Uit die diepte van my hart, which spent a total of 35 weeks on the chart. This is more than Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas combined!

In fact, Afrikaans acts in particular dominated the annual RSG chart with Kurt, Bok van Blerk, Juanita, Ray Dylan and Rudi and Corlea filling the top five places.

Kurt's new album Beste Medisyne was released very late in the year, so didn't really qualify, but nevertheless did well enough to deny the global phenomenon Susan Boyle from dominating the top of the charts.

After his chart topping escapades, Kurt hopped off to the Caribbean for a well deserved break before heading for Europe. Sadly his visit coincided with the horrific earthquake in Haiti. As he posted on Twitter: “Do not feel good on cruise while people are suffering.”

Someone who also headed north to a European winter was Arno Carstens. He's wrapped up the recording of his debut international release entitled Wonderful Wild. The first single Dreamer was just released in the United Kingdom. Check out the video for Dreamer on YouTube. I guarantee you'll be impressed.

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Posted by Dave Thompson
09 Feb 2010

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