The death of a beloved Czech singer Karel Gott has become one of the most discussed things in the Czech Republic in recent days. Thousands of people came to Prague (and not only there) to honor his memory. The street in front of his house is impassable as there are thousands of flowers and candles here. But who was Karel Gott? I will try to give you some insight in this article.
This article will not be biographical (even though there will be some data) because I think it is more important what Gott meant for the Czech Republic.
But at the beginning, I will write some basic information about his life. Karel Gott was born on 14 July 1939 in Plzeň and died on 1 October 2019 in Prague. He was a Czech hit singer, actor and painter. He had a wife and 4 children.
Now to the facts that will bring you closer to the person and the work of Karel Gott and thus his influence on Czech culture:
- In the years 1965–2019 he sold 50 million albums, which made him the most successful Czech artist.
- During his career he released 293 solo albums on the domestic scene and abroad.
- Overall, he sang 978 songs. An impressive number, isn’t it?
- He sang not only in Czech but also in German, English, Italian and Russian.
- He received 42 awards in the Golden Nightingale and later Czech Nightingale (Český Slavík). He is the record holder of the Nightingale. In recent years it has been customary for him to say “I didn’t really expect this.” I do not know how Karel, but we all expected it, it has become such a tradition.
- He also received more than 120 television awards, 8 gold records, 1 diamond record, repeatedly ranking first in the charts and selling records.
- His nicknames include the Golden Voice of Prague and Sinatra of the East. Most often, however, he was referred to as Divine Kaja (“Božský Kája”). More or less, anyone you ask in the Czech Republic would know him under this nickname.
- His songs never got old. They were listened to by people across generations. He and his songs have become a part of Czech culture over the years. And that means something.
In conclusion, I would like to express my condolences to the death of this great man. And if you would like to listen to some of his songs, youtube will find hundreds of them. My favorites include the Trezor or Srdce nehasnou, his last song, duet with his daughter Charlotte Ella.