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Karel Gott

(* 1939)

Karel Gott is the most popular singer of Czech popular music. He began performing publicly in the years 1958–60, when he took part in amateur competitions and won his first engagement at the Vltava Café. At this time, he began studying at the conservatory, where he subsequently began taking private singing lessons. With his tenor voice, he started in the field of jazz and subsequently accept an engagement at the Semafor Theatre. Gott had his first hit in 1963 with Oči sněhem zaváté (Snowdrift eyes) and also won his first Golden, today Czech, Nightingale (Zlatý/Český slavík) award (to date he has won this prize 31 times).

In 1965, the Supraphon company issued his first LP entitled Zpívá Karel Gott (Karel Gott Sings), which was soon followed by an album called The Golden Voice of Prague, which was sung in English, and a long-playing record with the West-German Polydor label entitled Die goldene Stimme aus Prag. Gott has been labeled the Golden Voice of Prague in German-speaking countries.

His career enjoyed an even sharper upswing in the 1970s. He recorded a 10-part music series, Karel Gott ve Slaném (Karel Gott in Slaný). He garnered international acclaim with the song for the fairy tale Včelka Mája (Maya the Bee).

In the 1980s, he also obtained a Supraphon Golden Disc for having exported 1 million records abroad, and he received the title of National Artist for exceptional artistic activity in 1985. In March 1991, he was the first to enter the Hall of Fame of the Academy of Popular Music and received a Diamond Disc for selling 13 million records in the former Czechoslovakia.

In the course of the 1990s, Gott also became known as a painter. His success as an artist has been borne out by exhibitions held in Berlin, Cologne, Vienna, Moscow, Prague and Munich.

Over the course of his 40-year career, Gott has given countless concert performances in every European country, the United States, Canada, China, Australia and Japan. He has released 100 regular albums and more than 100 compilation albums.

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