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.”

18 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tatarpussycat
Tatarpussycat
2 years ago

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

Curve
Curve
2 years ago

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

Möhrant
Möhrant
2 years ago

Great entry back in 2011. Rest In Peace Vlatko.

fugu
fugu
2 years ago

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

Henry
Henry
2 years ago

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

ksenija
ksenija
2 years ago

heartbreaking 🙁

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
2 years ago

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

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

Macedonia*

ChrisK
ChrisK
2 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

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
Roelof Meesters
2 years ago

Rest In Peace 🙁

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 years ago

Too young. Was a great FYROM entry, too.

Colin
Colin
2 years ago

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

Ert
Ert
2 years ago

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

SamoShampioni
SamoShampioni
2 years ago

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
Davve
2 years ago

Sad news. Rip!

Jaccobabe
Jaccobabe
2 years ago

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

Alex
Alex
2 years ago

RIP

Africavision
Africavision
2 years ago

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