Lerato Moipone Molapo (born March 14, 1979) best known as Lira, is a South African singer. Her name translates to love in SeSotho and she speaks four languages. She is a multi platinum selling and an eleven time South African Award winning Afro- Soul vocalist, who refers to her music as Fusion soul, funk, elements of Jazz and African.
Life and Career
Lerato Moipone Molapo was born on March 14, 1979, Daveyton, Johannesburg to Buyi Radebe (mother) and Khanyapa Molapo Sr (father). Lira's world was shaped by the harsh realities of South Africa's formerly racial and socio-economic apartheid. She grew up listening to Miriam Make a, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone, who would eventually inspire her own songwriting. She began performing live at the age of 16, singing both cover versions and self penned songs. As a undergraduate student, Lira studied Accounting and used her skills to exchange for recording time at a local studio, resulting in her first demo at the age of 18.
Upon graduation, Lira continued in accounting for two years. With ambitions to be a singer she turned in her letter if resignation and created a five year plan for her music career. In 2000, she was discovered by musician or producer Arthur Mafokate, who signed her to his record label, 999 Music and helped with the release of her debut album, All My Love,(2003). The album earned her accolades at the Metro FM Awards, South African Music Awards and Channel O Reel Music Awards. The title track even knocked Beyonce's single "Dangerously In Love" off the charts.
According to The Star newspaper, Lira is currently considered the foremost adult contemporary female solo artist in South Africa. She has appeared in major as campaigns and been an ambassador for Audi, Shield, Samsung, Mtn and Blackberry. She has appeared on the covers of more to than 30 magazines worldwide.
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