Vice Vukov, the Croatian singer who has died aged 72, has been described as having a �noble, God-given baritone voice which left audiences breathless.� His �luxurious singing performances� were said to outshine the work of their lyricists and composers.
Vice was born in Šibenik in 1936. He graduated in Philosophy and Italian from the University of Zagreb, and from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Paris in Law, Economics and Social Sciences. His celebrated singing career began at the Opatija Festival 1959 when he won first prize with the song Mirno teku rijeke (Gently fow the rvers) written by Miroslav Biro and Drago Britvić. Over the next decade he won more awards than any other singer in the then Yugoslavia. In 1963, he was chosen to represent Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest, with his song Brodovi (Boats), disappointingly finishing 11th with just 3 points. Not disheartened, he competed again two years later with his song Če�nja (Yearning), this time finishing 12th with two points. In 1972, due to his close involvement in the Croatian Spring, a political movement which called for greater rights for Croatia within Yugoslavia, Vice’s songs werebanned from national radio and television, and he was barred from performing in Yugoslavia for 18 years. However, he maintained a dignified silence while musically exiled. From 1996, he was a regular political commentator for several journals, leading to the publication of collections of his political essays. Vice was a member of the Social Democrat Party, and was elected a Member of Parliament in 2003. On 17th November 2005, Vice fell down the stairs in Parliament and slipped into a coma. He remained in a vegetative state until his death.He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Dijana, a son, Emil and a daughter, Ivana, as well as his niece Tina. Tina has continued the family dalliances with the Eurovision Song Contest by competing in the Croatian national Eurovision Song Contest pre-selection Dora in 2006 and 2007.