The Czech Republic was and still is the home of many talented singers. None of them has however become as influential as Karel Gott – a man whose career spanned over fifty years, from the 1960s to his death in 2019.
Karel Gott was born in 1939. He first started actively singing in the 1950s and became a professional performer in 1960 after quitting his day job. His career took off after he was hired to work for the theatre “Semafor” and cooperated with the talented duo Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr. The song they wrote for Karel won him his first significant Czech singing award, known as the Golden Nightingale.
Karel created his first solo album in 1966. A year later, he flew to the USA where he gained further experience as a performer. In 1968, he competed in Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest which brought him into the public eye and made him popular not only in Austria, but also in Germany and Switzerland. The 1970s proved to be a very successful period for Karel who recorded a new album almost every year. In the 1980s Karel once again performed in multiple countries and distant lands, Asia included. He also acted in several films and documentaries.
As for his overall work, Karel Gott sold over 50 million albums which made him the most successful Czech singer ever. He recorded 239 albums both in his native country and abroad. He sang in multiple languages, not only in Czech, but also in English, German, Italian and Russian. The number of songs he sang testifies to his immense talent and creativity – he gave his voice to around 2500 songs.