Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse was born in Johannesburg on 2 November 1951. “Hotstix” is an early nickname acquired for his skill on the drums, an instrument he mastered at age 8. Mabuse started his career in the soul group the Beaters, a high school band formed when he was 15. The Beaters evolved to become Harari, and became extremely popular on the South African music scene in the 1970s. They drew on the influences of American-style funk, soul and pop music, sung in Zulu, Sotho and English. In 1978 the group was invited to perform in the USA with Hugh Masekela. During the tour, the band’s leader Selby Ntuli died, leaving Sipho as the new front man. Harari split in 1982. Mabuse’s solo career has proved highly successful. His 1985 hit Burn Out sold over 500,000 copies. Subsequent albums include the 1996 Township Child, and two live albums in 2005 and 2006.