Prague, Oct 2 (CTK) – The most popular Czech pop singer Karel Gott died at the age of 80 before midnight on Tuesday at home in his family circle, his wife Ivana Gottova told CTK today.
In mid-September, Gott announced he suffered from acute leukemia and that he was an outpatient of the Prague General University Hospital (VFN).
He struggled with his health problems also in 2016.
“With the deepest grief in my heart, I announce that my beloved husband Karel Gott left us on Tuesday, shortly before night, after a serious and long illness,” Gottova said.
“He died at home, in a mild sleep, in the circle of his family,” she added.
Gott is the most famous Czech pop singer. He has released almost 300 LPs, the first as early as 1965, having sold tens of millions records. His latest LP, entitled The Right One, was released last year.
“Gott’s death is extremely sad news for the whole of the Czech Republic,” President Milos Zeman said.
Zeman said recently he might award Gott with a higher-level state decoration.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis said he considered Gott one of the biggest Czechs he had the honour to see.
“Karel Gott. He accompanied me since early on. All of us,” Babis said.
“He died. I believed he will be here forever. I am awfully sorry. I will light up a candle and listen something from him from the 1960s. Master, I esteemed you. More than I am able to say,” Babis has tweeted.
Karel Gott. Provázel mě od mládí. A každého z nás. Jeden z největších Čechů, které jsme měli tu čest zažít. Zemřel. Věřil jsem, že tu bude navždycky. Je mi to nesmírně líto. Zapálím svíčku a poslechnu si něco od něj z 60. let. Mistře, vážil jsem si Vás. Víc, než dokážu říct.— Andrej Babiš (@AndrejBabis) 2. října 2019
Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said few had done so much for the Czech Republic’s good reputation abroad as Gott.
Gott was at the top of Czech pop music for more than 60 years. He is the winner of 42 Golden or Czech Nightingale awards for the best pop singer, for the first time in 1963 and most recently in 2017. He has many fans not only in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but also in Germany, Russia and elsewhere abroad.
Gott won the title of Czech national artist in 1985 and president Vaclav Klaus decorated him with the state award For Merit for contribution to Czech culture in 2009.
Details on Gott’s funeral will be released at Gott’s official webpage, his spokeswoman Aneta Stolzova said.