Now the Recording Industry of South Africa have joined the heartbroken chorus and released their own statement in memory of Ray, who won various accolades throughout his life.
The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) extends heartfelt condolences to the family, relatives, friends and colleagues of the late music icon Ray Phiri.
Phiri passed away on Wednesday morning at a Nelspruit clinic after a short and brave fight against cancer.
Bra Ray was a national treasure. Through his music he provided a soundtrack of our struggle for liberation with his fearless compositions as part of Stimela.
Chikapa, as he was fondly known is a proud recipient of the SAMA Lifetime Achiever, the honour he was bestowed with at SAMA 18. This was in recognition of his pioneering achievements in the music space.
Today as the nation mourns its beloved son of the soil, RISA wishes to express their gratitude for a life well lived and for musical notes that will echo for generations to come.
Bra Ray occupied a special place reserved for first statesmen of music. He was a live music favourite and a concert drawcard. He will be remembered as a music institution.
RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi commented: “It is the end of a magnificent era for music. Bra Ray was a national treasurer and will be missed. For us at RiSA we say music has lost a legend. May he rest in peace and all those close to him find peace in knowing that he ran his race, and what a beautiful one it was.”