Vlatko Ilievski, Macedonian singer and actor, was found dead in a car on July 7. He was 33.

FYR Macedonia’s Press 24 reported the news this morning after police confirmed that his body had been handed to authorities for an autopsy. At the time of writing, the cause of death remains unknown.

Eurovision fans will remember Vlatko for his colourful performance of “Rusinka” (Russian Girl) ‚ which melded the music and theatrics of traditional Russian music with a more contemporary style.

The lyrics told the story of a Macedonian boy who falls hard for the titular Russian girl. Despite not sharing a common language, he says he would learn Russian just for her…and perhaps with the help of vodka and rakija — the preferred drinks from each country which are mentioned in the lyrics.

Although he came just 16th in his semi-final at Eurovision, Vlatko captivated audiences across Europe with a thoroughly theatrical performance that featured five dancers all in white, mixing folk dance with something flash and interpretive. Among the outré Eurovision flourishes was the use of an accordion, Vlatko shouting into a megaphone and a thrusting line dance. This is the colour we live for.

And while the setting leaned toward the camp and over-the-top, in his words we saw a man who understood feelings that go deeper: love and tenderness, and the stinging pain of longing.

As he sang: “Soft skin, white like snow, new, untouched/ Blue eyes, like a clear sky, I am trapped inside them.”

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Tatarpussycat
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Tatarpussycat

I am so disappointed of this year, so many artists die…
Rest in peace, Vlatko

Curve
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Curve

I wanted him to qualify back in 2011. His song was catchy than many of those that qualified to the final. RIP

Möhrant
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Möhrant

Great entry back in 2011. Rest In Peace Vlatko.

fugu
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fugu

Those were some of the best costumed and best used dancers I’ve seen in the contest.

Henry
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Henry

So sad, he looked like a charming fun guy at Eurovision

ksenija
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ksenija

heartbreaking 🙁

Walt
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Walt

Unsure how former Yugoslavs imagine Nordics but that deceased Slavic person certainly did not look like one. No blue eyes, no light/albino blonde hair and generally no other Nordic facial features. I am, however, sorry for his untimely loss.

Roy Moreno
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Roy Moreno

I haven’t heard the song nor did I know him but it’s so sad to hear!
Rest in peace 🙁

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Macedonia*

ChrisK
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ChrisK

This is neither the time nor the place for misinformed, political propaganda. The country was called Fyrom (Former Yucoslavic Republic of Macedonia) and now it was agreed to be called North Macedonia. This is to distinguish it from the region named Macedonia, which is and always has been the northern part of Greece. You might have gotten used to referring to North Macedonia as simply Macedonia, but you are either ignorant of the facts, or worse. In either case, this is an article for the unfortunate passing of a young man, so your comment is entirely misplaced and severely in… Read more »

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

Rest In Peace 🙁

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Too young. Was a great FYROM entry, too.

Colin
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Colin

R. I. P. Vlatko. A really sad news.

Ert
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Ert

One of the most underrated entries ever. Really entertaining. Rip<3

SamoShampioni
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SamoShampioni

This is so sad, I was just listening to him yesterday. Crying right now, he was my favourite in 2011. Gone far too soon, RIP Vlatko Ilievski.

Davve
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Davve

Sad news. Rip!

Jaccobabe
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Jaccobabe

OMG. This is horrible. I remember meeting him in DD. Very sweet guy.

Alex
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Alex

RIP

Africavision
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Africavision

Oh my goodness. So young. Rest in peace, Vlatko. 🙁