Claire Johnston (musician)

Claire Johnston (musician)

Claire Johnston is a singer best known as the face and voice of Mango Groove. Born in the United Kingdom, she has been a South African resident for most of her life. At age ten, Claire debuted as an actor, dancer and singer in the Johannesburg production of the musical Annie. During her senior high school year, she joined the crossover band Mango Groove and has been a symbol of the Rainbow Nation ever since. Despite a busy concert schedule, she completed a degree in English, Philosophy, and Politics at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has opened for Belinda Carlisle[1] and performed with Freddie Mercury.

Claire regularly performs "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" at Springbok rugby union internationals and was involved in South Africa's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. She is married to fellow Mango Groove musician John Leyden.

Currently she performs with Mango Groove, or with her four-piece band, as "Claire Unplugged".


Johnston has made two solo albums. The first, Fearless, was partly recorded in 2000 at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios. She describes her second, Africa Blue, as "a big band album including some old standards".


  1. ^ "Belinda Carlisle concert". The Herald Online. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 

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