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18 Aug 15

Arsen Dedic, Musical Legend, Dies in Zagreb

Arsen Dedic, a singer and songwriter who was considered one of the most influential musicians in Yugoslavia, died on Monday aged 77 in Zagreb.

Sasa Dragojlo
 Arsen Dedic, Legendary Yugoslavian singer and songwriter / photo by Facebook

Arsenije Arsen Dedic, one of the greatest Yugoslav singers and songwriters, died in Zagreb on August 17, aged 77.

Music critics considered Dedic an true pioneer of songs and literary chanson, whose work also had an indirect but significant impact on the rock scene in Yugoslavia.

His musical style can be described as a mixture of Mediterranean pop music, chanson and jazz.

Dedic spent more than two weeks in hospital before he died, suffering from an infection that attacked his artificial hip. His condition rapidly deteriorated and his kidneys stopped working. He died on Monday night in Zagreb.

Zoran Predin, the Slovenian singer and songwriter, said that a great man had passed away.

“When a person like him is gone, there is always a terrible emptiness after which we do not know what will happen next. He was a great man and that is why the gap is so big,” Predin said.

Actor Rade Serbedzija called Dedic’s death a terrible blow “for all of us, friends and family, and for all those who listened and loved his songs”.

Dedic’s influence on the music scene in Yugoslavia was enormous. Some said that what Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Leonard Cohen, Serge Gainsbourg and Scott Walker represented to the world, Dedic was for the people of former Yugoslavia.

Born in Sibenik in 1938, he studied law in Zagreb before enrolling in the Music Academy from which he graduated in 1964.

In the mid-Sixties he started his singer-songwriter career. His first album, “A man like me,” was published in 1969, and since then Dedic has recorded more than 30 albums. He performed at many festivals in the former Yugoslavia.

Dedic also published dozens of books and collections of poems. He wrote music for theatre, film, television and commercials. He has won numerous awards, and one of the most important was in San Remo in 1982 for “original music”.

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