‘Sinatra of the east’ Karel Gott has acute leukaemia

A couple guard the ATM selling a ‘Zero Euro’ souvenir banknote depicting Czech pop singer Karel Gott in honour of his 80th birthday on July 14, 2019 at the shop of a local record company, in Prague. — AFP pic
A couple guard the ATM selling a ‘Zero Euro’ souvenir banknote depicting Czech pop singer Karel Gott in honour of his 80th birthday on July 14, 2019 at the shop of a local record company, in Prague. — AFP pic

PRAGUE, Sept 13 — Czech pop singer Karel Gott, who is hugely popular at home and in neighbouring Germany, said yesterday he was undergoing treatment for acute leukaemia just years after recovering from cancer.

“I’m undergoing ambulatory treatment and hospital checks with doctors monitoring my overall condition,” the 80-year-old singer dubbed “the Golden Voice of Prague” by fans wrote on Facebook.

Gott, who is also a painter, added that he was about to complete his autobiography and helping out with a documentary about his life.

Dubbed “Divine Karel” for his impeccable tenor voice, Gott has been voted the most popular singer 42 times in the annual Golden Nightingale poll of Czech music fans.

He has released almost 300 LPs and CDs, selling tens of millions of copies.

Fans in neighbouring Germany also relish the singer who is particularly known for singing the German theme tune for the Maya the Bee children’s TV series.

Gott’s hits include cover versions of Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman and Alphaville’s Forever Young, but most of them were written by Czech composers.

He rose to stardom in the 1960s when he sang in the US and what was then West Germany, and represented Austria in the Eurovision song contest.

At that time, German papers described him as the “Sinatra of the East”. — AFP

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