Silvi Vrait, Estonia’s first participant in the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest, has passed away following a two-month battle with a brain tumour.

Vrait, who finished next-to-last at Eurovision in 1994, earned just two points with her song “Nagu merelaine” (Like a Wave). But that’s a mere blip in the public conscioussness. For Estonians she’ll be rememebred as a freedom fighter whose songs—particularly “Väikene rahvas, väikene maa” (Small Nation, Tiny Country) and “Ei ole üksi ükski maa” (No Land Is Alone)—gave rhythm to Estonia’s fight for freedom. Bold and defiant, she emerged, from 1987, as a key figure of the so-called “Singing Revolution”—a series of mass demonstrations that ultimately saw more than 300,000 Estonians sing patriotic hymns that had been outlawed by the Soviet Politburo. Selecting her to perform at Eurovision was a show of gratitude for all she had done for the nation. How she fared was irrelevant.

In August 2011 she suggested that death had started to creep into her mind. “I’ve thought about death a lot lately…I guess that is one of my biggest fears,” she said in an extensive interview with Woman of Estonia magazine. “Those who believe that the soul is eternal, they are less fearful. I’ll try to believe it. But I still have the fear of death.”

Perhaps she knew something before her doctors did. In April 2013, Silvi entered a hospital to undergo treatment for a brain tumour. Her death on June 28 came peacefully, in body and mind.

“I have only now reached the point that I can look at myself in the mirror and without any embarrassment say, ‘Silvi, I love you,'” she said at the end of 2011. “For me, it has not been easy to accept myself – something previously prevented me. Now all is free. And my life is changing because of this.”

She is survived by her son Silver Vrait.

http://youtu.be/ldjMkPWC5fY

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Nathan
Nathan
8 years ago

I’m so glad she underwent this in peace of body and mind and the illness lasted that shortly. What a wise and warm woman. She will be missed, may she rest in peace <3 Lots of love and strength to her friends and family <3

And as Jaccobabe said: very well written 🙂

ave
ave
8 years ago

I am so sad. I can’t belive she is gone for ever…She was the greatest person and very good singer. She was and will forever remain in our pride. She will stay in my heart forever…..R.I.P!!!

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

I loved here song back in 1994. R.I.P

martti immonen
martti immonen
8 years ago

Silvi Vrait for sure was an remarkable person and superb multitalented artist and she will be missed hugely. I had the pleasure meeting here couple of times and chatting about everything. Silvi had great sense of humour and very sharp mind and charisma, that someone could envy. Rest in peace Silvi.

But what comes to the being the 1st Estonian in Eurovision Song Contest isn´t totally correct. Silvi was the 1st one in big final, but 1993 Estonia tried to qualify in pre-selection by Janika Sillamaa ” muretut meelt ja südametuld”

David Thielen
David Thielen
8 years ago

That is an incredible story – thank you

Snark
Snark
8 years ago

Wow. It’s almost like she predicted she would die soon. It’s so sad. But at least she learned to say I love you!!!

Jaccobabe
Jaccobabe
8 years ago

Very well written, and very sad.