esma redzepova dies aged 73 eurovision

At Eurovision 2013, as her duet partner Vlatko Lozanoski sang the opening bars of “Pred Dan Se Razdeni,” Esma Redzepova lurked in the shadows.

It’s not a place she’d have been familiar with, given her many decades on the stage and the big screen. But later, as the song built and the lights shone, she emerged in grand fashion, caterwauling and announcing her arrival in true diva fashion: “My name is Esma”.

Eurovision fans will no doubt continue to remember her name — despite the sad news that she has passed away, aged 73, following a brief illness.

Esma was born in Skopje in 1943. She started performing publicly at 13. At 15 she recorded her very first album Zoshto Si Me Majko Rodila, and soon scored her first hit song “Chaje Shukarije” (which later appeared on the soundtrack to the 2006 film Borat). At 17 she found herself in Paris, performing at the famous Olympia.

After 20 years in the business, Esma had made a name for herself within the world of Romany music — but also outside of it. Her ability to flirt with the mainstream was one reason that, in 1976, her fellow Romany singers crowned her the Queen of Gypsy Music at the First Gypsy World Festival in India. She carried the title with pride until she died, and it was frequently referenced during her promotional campaign ahead of Eurovision.

Her list of achievements is long but worth repeating: over 500 recorded songs, two platinum records and eight gold records. In 2010 Macedonia awarded her its Order of Merit. In 2011, America’s National Public Radio named her one of the 50 Great Voices in the World, alongside the likes of Placido Domingo and Björk. And in 2013 she was rightfully named National Artist of the Republic of Macedonia.

But amid all that, Esma’s greatest achievements may have come off the stage.

She used her wealth for the betterment of others, sponsoring thousands of charity concerts that helped disaster victims, children in orphanages and the underprivileged in hospitals. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s she fostered a staggering 47 children alongside her late husband Stevo Teodosievski.

She is mourned, not only by the Romanies in Europe, but by everyone who valued her music and vigour for life. Among those who expressed their condolences was her Eurovision 2013 singing partner Lozano.

Writing on Facebook, he said: “Macedonia and the world have lost a great woman and artist. Working together with you was a pleasure. Deep condolences to the family. Rest in peace dear Esma.”

We at Team Wiwi send Esma’s family, friends and fans our heartfelt condolences.

Her memory will live on — as bright and fiery as her extravagant red dress from Malmö.

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Guest

She sang for Tito, Castro, Nehru, Gaddafi, Indira Ghandi, Khrushchev, Sukarno, Nasser and Saddam Hussein.

Slaytina
Guest

She did very ugly comments about Eurovision and gays after stay in semifinals, I dont remember well what she said but Lozano said something like he did not go to Euroclub because he was afraid of being raped and she said something similar. Anyway it seems she was a great artist and that’s what it should be remember.

HarpyDarper
Guest

RIP Esma
The one and only
I felt there was a wasted opportunity in 2013, she deserved a better song by herself , but this minor blip places in comparison to her achievements

Jonas
Guest

Oh, quit whining, Fergy. Please get a grip.

RIP, Esma.

Fergy
Guest

Surprised Wiwi found time to report this inbetween all the Saara Alto posts. You were the last Eurovision site to report her death and even managed to post another Saara article after your Twitter account posted about Esma`s death and then finally this website post appeared hours after everyone else had already reported it. Very disrespectful to a hugely influential and amazing woman. RIP Esma

Ern
Guest

Very sad. She seemed like a really nice woman.

bella
Guest

RIP Esma! Such a good person she was.She helped a lot of people. Goodbye gypsy queen.

KennyESC
Guest

RIP ç^ç

#SheChangedTheWorld
Guest

All the love to her family and friends. She was a huge soul and star. <3

Davve
Guest

Being that large did not help either.

Rip

random.sage2.5
Guest

🙁 I wanted her to comeback to Eurovision as an solo act. Always thought Esma need more shine than 2013 ESC have her.

Now, I’ve learned that she always had a shine all along all throughout her life greater than my pop music saturated mind could ever have comprehended. Also, didn’t know that was HER voice in Borat. 😀 I knew it was Balkan!!! lol

We’ll miss you, Esma! Make room in heaven for this sinner!

HubertZnajomski
Guest

So sad 🙁

mocosuburbian
Guest

tragic 🙁

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

OMG, no! 🙁

R.I.P.

Roelof Meesters
Guest

🙁

Paul D.
Guest

So sad to hear this news, RIP Esma 🙁

beccaboo1212
Guest

#RIPEsma 🙁

Colin
Guest

R. I. P. Esma Redzepova. Besides being a talented artist, she was a great and kind person who helped so many in need. She will be remembered.

Laburnum
Guest

Sad news. What an amazing woman she was.

someone
Guest

What a beautiful tribute to this lovely artist. She will be remembered not only for her voice and undeniable talent,but also her kind heart that gave so much to charity and fostered almost 50(!) children. She was a remarkable person. Long live the queen of Romany music and VIVA MAKEDONIA

Escfannn
Guest

Ah Esma, you will always be remembered. You were such a charitable person,your vestiges will continue to live on this planet. You left unforgettable mark behind you, which is the most important thing in a human’s life. Goodbye beautiful human.Respect to you.

Maria
Guest

RIP <3 you mill be missed

Awes
Guest

Rest in peace Esma. I still love your 2013 song. 🙁 <3

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

Rest in peace, our one and only gypsy queen.

Kylie
Guest

Rest in peace Esma ?????