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Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Toše Proeski



Todor "Toše" Proeski (Macedonian: Тодор „Тоше" Проески) (January 25, 1981-October 16, 2007) was a famous Macedonian singer who was popular across the entire Balkan area. He is considered a top act of the music scene of Republic of Macedonia.


Proeski collaborated with artists including Anja Rupel, Antonija Šola, Bora Čorba, Karolina Gočeva, Esma Redžepova, Gianna Nannini, Goca Tržan, Grigor Koprov, Jeff Beck, Tony Cetinski, Željko Joksimović and other notable musicians. Prior to his death, he was a student in his final year in the solo singing department of the Skopje Music Academy. Proeski was known for his trademark quote "Ve sakam site" (I Love You All), and was called "Elvis Presley of the Balkans" by the BBC.[1] He died in an automobile accident in Croatia on October 16, 2007.

Early years

Toše Proeski, was born in Prilep[3], Macedonia as a son of Dominika and Nikola Proeski from Kruševo, his hometown, where he spent most of his childhood. After his musical talent was discovered, at an age of 12 he was chosen to perform at the popular children song festival "Zlatno slavejče" in Skopje. That was his first public music performance, however his succesful career began in 1996 when he participated in the teenage music festival "Melfest" in Prilep. Following this public exposure, he was awarded for his strong vocal capabilities, which led to his rise to fame when he participated in the music festival Makfest in Štip with the song "Pusti me"("Let me go") in 1997. His fanbase quickly grew and he continued to make use of festivals, such as SkopjeFest and OhridFest, as a platform for promotion and publicity. Proeski collaborated with one of Macedonia's acclaimed lyricists and composers, Grigor Koprov, to produce some of the greatest hits of his career such as "Usni na Usni" ("Lips on Lips") and "Sonce vo Tvoite Rusi Kosi" ("The Sun in Your Golden Hair"). In 1999, he released his debut album, Nekade vo Nokta ("Somewhere in the Night"), which contained eleven tracks. In the summer of the same year, Proeski performed his first solo concert in Skopje.


In 2000, Proeski participated in the Eurovision pre-selection for Macedonia in SkopjeFest. He sang "Solzi Pravat Zlaten Prsten" ("Golden Ring made of Tears"), which won the televoting from the public but he finished third overall, behind Karolina Gočeva and the winners XXL. During that period, he began recording the tracks for his second album, Sinot Božji ("The Son of God"), which was promoted by the end of June 2000. The album brought some great hits, like "Nemir" ("Restless") (a duet with Karolina Gočeva), "Vo Kosi da ti Spijam" ("Sleeping in Your Hair"), "Izlazi me Ušte Ednaš" ("Lie to Me One More Time"), as well as "Iluzija" ("Illusion") (Grand Prix at the festival Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk ) and "Tajno Moja" ("Secret of mine"),two songs are composed by Kire Kostov, (winning second prize at the festival Sunčane Skale, held in Herceg Novi, now Montenegro).


The Serbian production house BK Sound purchased the rights to release Proeski's latest album in the former Yugoslavian republics, which led to his victory of the Oscar of Popularity in former Yugoslav republics for the year of 2000, and his sell-out shows in Skopje and Belgrade. Proeski set off on an Australian tour along with other Macedonian singers in 2001.


After spending his time in recording studios in Athens, Greece, Proeski released his third album "Ako me pogledneš vo oči" ("If You Look Into My Eyes") in Macedonian and Serbian. After the release, Proeski went on a tour throughout Macedonia doing intense promotion. He also went to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bulgaria for further promotion. Proeski won "Beovizija" in Belgrade on April 2003, with "Čija si" ("To whom do you belong?"), a song which became a huge hit in Macedonia and the other former republics.


To improve his singing, Proeski took classes in New York from maestro William Riley, who was also coach to famous maestro Luciano Pavarotti. When he returned, Proeski held humanitarian concerts throughout the Republic of Macedonia. He was awarded with the Mother Theresa Humanitarian Award and in 2003 he became a Regional UNICEF Ambassador.


In 2004, MKTV chose Proeski to represent Macedonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 in Istanbul, Turkey, and in February, he performed eight songs, where a jury, televote, and his own opinion chose the song. The song "Angel Si Ti” ("You're an Angel”) was chosen by all three. In April, Proeski released his album "Den Za Nas" ("A Day For Us"), which was two CDs featuring the eight songs from the Eurovision selection. In May, Proeski finished 14th with the song "Life", which was the English version of "Angel Si Ti”. Prior to the contest he was popularised by reporters due to his tremendous opera singing ability, at his press conferences.


In 2004 Proeski was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and recorded the song "This World" which became the UNICEF anthem. Proeski signed a contract with Dallas Records so his next album could be released in Croatia and Slovenia. To establish himself in these countries, Proeski recorded "Krajnje Vreme” with Slovenian singer, Anja Rupel. In 2005, Toše's fifth album Po Tebe ("After You”) was released all over ex-Yugoslavia. Po Tebe, was one of the most successful Balkan albums ever. It topped music charts for months in the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Božilak (Rainbow), was a compilation of 14 selected traditional Macedonian songs. The artist was backed up by a symphony orchestra on the album.


His latest album 'Igra bez granica' (Croatian title)/'Igri bez granici' (Macedonian title) ("Game without borders") was released all over ex-Yugoslavia in August 2007.


Apart from songs in Macedonian and Serbian languages, he also recorded one song in Slovenian, "Moja" (Mine) (2007).


Proeski also established himself as a songwriter. He wrote several hits for himself including "Ima Li Den Za Nas" (Is There A Day For Us), "Slusas Li" (Can You Hear), "Malecka" (Little One) and "Polsko Cvjeke" (Field Flower). In 2004, Proeski composed "Muza" (Muse) which was a huge hit for Martin Vucic (Macedonian Eurovision Song Contest Representative, 2005), and went on the become the title track for the young artist's second album. In interviews, Proeski stated that he has written over 100 songs but was waiting for the right moments to record them as they were still in demo form.


On October 15, Proeski gave his final interview to the Macedonian Television Station Kanal 5. He talked about his intention to finish his Musical Academy studies, his search for his soul mate, and his new album in the works.


During the early morning of 16 October 2007, around 6.20 am, Proeski died in a car accident on the Zagreb-Lipovac highway near Nova Gradiška, Croatia. He was a passenger along with his manager Ljiljana Petrović in a Volkswagen Touareg driven by Gjorgji Gjorgjievski. The Touareg crashed into the back of a truck and then into the median barrier, killing Proeski instantly, crushing the third vertebrae of the neck, although the truck sustained no damage. Proeski was asleep in the front passenger seat at the time of the crash.Of the other two passengers, only the driver suffered serious injuries (head trauma).

Proeski's body arrived at midnight in Skopje by helicopter of the Macedonian army, and was transported by car to his home town Kruševo. Grieving citizens gathered to pay their last respects at the airport and also in Skopje's city square. The Embassy of the United States of America, the USAID and the Diplomatic mission of the European Union published official statements on the death of Toše Proeski. October 17 was pronounced a national day of mourning in Macedonia. The three days following his death were pronounced days of mourning in the City of Kruševo .

After his death, the government of the Republic of Macedonia, gave him the title "Honorable citizen of Macedonia"


State funeral

The government organized an official state funeral for Proeski, which was held 17 October 2007 in his home town of Kruševo, including military honour ceremonies by the Macedonian army and the National guard, such as a honor guard, a military orchestra and a honorary rifle salute. The funeral, which was broadcasted by the national Macedonian TV was attended by many domestic and foreign delegations, including the president Branko Crvenkovski, the prime minister Nikola Gruevski, members of the Macedonian Parliament and its president Ljubiša Georgievski and other high-ranking officials, the US and the EU ambassadors Gillian Milovanovic and Erwan Fouéré and other diplomats, representatives of the Red Cross, the USAID and other organizations, sport clubs etc. Also, the funeral was attended by many notable musicians from Republic of Macedonia and other countries, including: Karolina Gočeva, Kaliopi, Vlado Janevski, Lambe Alabakoski, Elena Risteska, Jovan Jovanov, Martin Vučić, Adrian Gaxha, Tijana Dapčević and her sister Tamara Todevska, Aki Rahimovski (the frontman of Parni valjak), Toni Cetinski, Ceca Ražnatović, Željko Joksimović and many others. The religious service was held by the Macedonian Orthodox Church led by the Archbishop Stephen of Ohrid, as Proeski was a declared Orthodox Christian.


Numerous websites, blogs and internet forums are filled with the last messages from his fans and friends (example). A petition is available on-line for Toše Proeski to be remembered by naming educational facilities, like the local Center for Music Education in Bitola, where he had studied to carry his name. Also this petition is to promote an annual humanitarian concert, carrying his name "Tose Proeski" for the poor and disabled and those of desperate need of medical attention.






   * Nekade Vo Nokta (Macedonian: Некаде во ноќта, English: Somewhere In The Night)




   * Sinot Božji (Macedonian: Синот Божји, English: The Son Of God)




   * Ako Me Pogledneš Vo Oči (Macedonian: Ако Ме Погледнеш Во Очи, English: If You Look Into My Eyes)

   * Ako Me Pogledaš U Oči (Serbian version)




   * Den Za Nas (Macedonian: Ден За Нас, English: A Day For Us)

   * Dan Za Nas (Croatian language version)




   * Po Tebe (Macedonian: По Тебе, English: After You)

   * Pratim Te (Croatian language version)




   * Božilak (Macedonian: Божилак, English: Rainbow)




   * Igri Bez Granici (Macedonian: Игри Без Граници, English: Games Without Frontiers)

   * Igra Bez Granica (Croatian language version)


Tose Proeski's complete discography




The song Čija si (English: To Whom Do You Belong) is considered to be Toše's greatest hit. Čija si received huge chart success and radio airplay bringing Proeski from star to music icon. His chart toppers include:


   * Čija Si - #1 Macedonia, #1 Serbia & Montenegro, #1 Bosnia & Herzegovina

   * Tajno Moja (Macedonian: Тајно Моја, English: My Secret) - #1 Macedonia

   * Ako Me Pogledaš U Oči (Macedonian: Ако Ме Погледнеш Во Очи, English: If You Look Into My Eyes) - #1 Macedonia, #1 Serbia & Montenegro

   * Soba Za Tugu (Macedonian: Соба За Тага, English: Room Of Sorrow)

   * Life - #1 Macedonia, #2 Serbia & Montenegro, #49 South Africa

   * Žao Mi Je (English: I Am Sorry)

   * Ko Ti To Grize Obraze (Macedonian: Кој ли ти гризе образи, English: Who's Biting Your Cheeks) - #1 Macedonia, #1 Serbia & Montenegro, #1 Croatia

   * Lagala Nas Mala (English: She Lied To Us) duet with Toni Cetinski - #1 Macedonia, #1 Serbia & Montenegro, #1 Croatia (20 weeks)

   * Srce Nije Kamen (English: The Heart Isn't Made Of Stone) - #1 Croatia

   * Vezi Me Za Sebe (English:Tie Me To You) - #2 Croatia

   * Volim Osmijeh Tvoj (English:I Love Your Smile) - #1 Croatia

   * Nikoj Kako Tebe Ne Baknuva (Macedonian: Никој како тебе не бакнува, Serbian: Ubijaš Me Usnama, English: No One Kisses Like You) - #1 Croatia


Song remixes


   * Lagala Nas Mala (DeeJay Time Remix)

   * Srce Nije Kamen (DJ Wizard Remix)


Last Updated ( Monday, 29 October 2007 )
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