Mzansi Profiles! Local,People Lira Biography| Real Name, Age, Background, Music Career, FIFA World Cup Concert, Discography, Awards, Marriage, Stroke

Lira Biography| Real Name, Age, Background, Music Career, FIFA World Cup Concert, Discography, Awards, Marriage, Stroke

Lira Biography| Real Name, Age, Background, Music Career, FIFA World Cup Concert, Discography, Awards, Marriage, Stroke post thumbnail image

Lira Biography|Real Name, Age, Background, Music Career, FIFA World Cup Concert, Discography, Awards, Marriage, Stroke

Lira is an acclaimed South African singer known for her captivating Afro-soul music. With multiple platinum-selling records and a couple of South African Music Awards (SAMAs) under her belt, she has earned global recognition for her powerful vocals and unique fusion of soul, jazz, and African rhythms.

Real Name

Lerato Moipone Molapo


Lira was born on the 14th of March 1979. As of 2023, she is 44 years old.

Early Life and Background

Lira was born in Daveyton, Johannesburg. She was born to parents Buyi Radebe and Khanyapa Molapo Sr.

Her name Lerato name translates to “love” in Sesotho, which resonates with the themes in her songs. She is a multilingual artist fluent in four languages.

Lira’s upbringing was shaped by the challenging realities of South Africa’s apartheid system, and she drew inspiration from iconic artists like Miriam Makeba, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Nina Simone, who influenced her songwriting. At the young age of 16, Lira began performing live, captivating audiences with both cover versions and her own original compositions.

During her undergraduate years, Lira pursued a degree in Accounting, utilizing her accounting skills to trade for recording time at a local studio. At the age of 18, she released her first demo. Despite working in accounting for two years after graduation, her passion for music eventually led her to make a pivotal decision to pursue a full-time music career.

Lira biography

Lira (Image Credit: Instagram @miss_lira)

Music Career

Lira’s music journey truly commenced in 2000 when she was discovered by musician and producer Arthur Mafokate. He signed her to his record label, 999 Music, and assisted in releasing her debut album, “All My Love,” in 2003. The album garnered widespread recognition, earning accolades at the Metro FM Awards, SAMAs, and Channel O Reel Music Awards. The title track even managed to dethrone Beyoncé’s hit single “Dangerously in Love” on the charts. Later, she parted ways with 999 Music and joined forces with keyboardist Victor Mngomezulu, bassist Tshepo Sekele, and producer Robin Kohl.

Subsequently, Lira signed with Sony Music Africa and released her first major label album, “Feel Good,” in 2006. The album quickly gained popularity in South Africa, with its title track becoming the most-played local song on the radio. “Feel Good” achieved Triple-Platinum status and made Lira the first South African artist to have her music video featured on VH-1. The album’s single also received the SAMA Award for the most downloaded song in 2008. Notably, the album found success internationally as it was released in Italy, where the title track gained significant airplay.

In 2008, Lira released the LP “Soul in Mind,” which shattered records at the SAMAs, earning her four awards in a single year, a feat previously unseen. The album achieved Triple-Platinum certification, solidifying Lira’s status as a prominent figure in the music industry. The same year, she was honoured as “Woman of the Year” by Glamour Magazine South Africa.

Live in Concert: A Celebration

In 2009, Lira embarked on creating her live concert DVD, an extraordinary production filmed with ten RED digital video cameras. The DVD was released in 2010 and reached Triple-Platinum status in South Africa, breaking records as the fastest and highest-selling music video disc in the Sony Music catalogue.

Rise Again

In April 2014, Lira released her debut American album, “Rise Again,” featuring a selection of songs from her African catalogue, including “Feel Good,” “Phakade,” and “Rise Again.”

FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert

In 2010, Lira performed at the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert alongside prominent artists like Alicia Keys, Shakira, K’Naan, and John Legend. Her rendition of Miriam Makeba’s hit song “Pata Pata” earned her immense praise. She also participated in the 92nd birthday celebration of Nelson Mandela, performing the popular anti-apartheid song “(Something Inside) So Strong” with the Soweto Spiritual Singers.

Jill Scott Concert

On 13 December 2014, Lira was the special guest act for American Neo-Soul star Jill Scott, in a one-night-only concert in Johannesburg.


Throughout her career, Lira received widespread recognition for her contributions to music. She was named one of the “Five Unique Artists to Change Music in 2012” by Essence magazine. In 2016, her album “Born Free” achieved gold status, and her single “Let There Be Light” reached platinum.


Lira has released several studio albums that have received critical acclaim and commercial success, including:

  • All My Love (999 Music, 2003)
  • Feel Good (Sony/BMG Africa, 2006)
  • Soul in Mind (Sony/BMG Africa, 2008)
  • Lira Live in Concert: A Celebration (Sony/BMG Africa, 2009)
  • Return to Love (Sony/BMG Africa, 2011)
  • CAPTURED IN TOUR (Oratel Music, 2011)
  • The LIRA EP (2011)
  • LIRA: The First Decade (Oratel Music, 2014)
  • Rise Again (Shanachie Records, 2014)
  • Born Free (Otarel Music, 2016)


Lira’s exceptional talent and remarkable contributions to the music industry have earned her numerous accolades and recognition throughout her career. Some of her notable awards include:

  • 2004 – Channel O Reel Music Award
  • 2007 – 13th Annual South African Music Awards:
    • Best Music Video (Feel Good)
  • 2008 – 14th Annual South African Music Awards:
    • Best Selling Download (Feel Good)
    • Best Music Video (Ixesha)
  • 2009 – 15th Annual South African Music Awards:
    • Best Female Artist
    • Best Adult Contemporary Album
    • Best Album of the Year (Soul in Mind)
    • Best Remix of the Year (Feel Good)
  • 2010 – 16th Annual South African Music Awards:
    • Best Female Artist
    • Best Global Chart DVD (Live in Concert: A Celebration)
    • Feather Award
  • 2011 – Channel O Music Video Awards:
    • Most Gifted Female Video
  • 2013 – South African Music Awards:
    • Best Live DVD


On 9 September 2009, she married music manager Robin Kohl. However, the couple announced their separation in July 2019 after nine years of marriage.


In April 2022, Lira suffered a stroke during a trip to Germany, affecting her ability to speak. She underwent medical treatment and took a break from recording and performing live.

On 1 September 2022, she made her first public appearance since the stroke at the launch of musician Tamara Dey’s new single, Disco Therapy. Lira revealed that she has been dealing with Aphasia as a result of the stroke.

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