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Czech Republic declares national day of mourning for Karel Gott

Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic will declare October 12 a national day of mourning to honour the memory of singer Karel Gott, the Czech News Agency reported.

Czech government declares day of mourning for Karel Gott

On October 12, next Saturday, will be held the national funeral of the Czech icon with all the state honours. Gott is to be buried in Prague following a memorial service and mass held in St. Vitus Cathedral and conducted by cardinal Dominik Duka in presence of invited guests only.

Details for the funeral are still being drawn. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told reporters it was “logistically quite demanding because the public interest is huge”.

The general public will have the opportunity to pay their respect to the late singer, at Prague’s Žofín Palace next Friday, from 8 am to 10 pm.

Prague mayor Zdeněk Hřib also suggested that a street could be named after Karel Gott in the Czech capital city, municipal spokesman Vít Hofman adding that anyone can make a suggestion for the exact place or street chosen.

The Golden Voice of Prague passed away

The most famous Czech singer of all time and uncontested king of Czech pop, Karel Gott passed away on Tuesday, at the age of 80, from acute leukemia. He’s survived by his widow, Ivana, whom he married in 2008.

Born in 1939 in Plzen under then Nazi-ruled Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Karel Gott started singing in the late 1950’s before studying opera and voice at the Prague Conservatory in 1960. His first solo single, a Czech version of Mancini’s famous ‘Moon River’, was released three years later.

His career quickly skyrocketed, and saw the release of no less than 125 albums and 72 singles from the late 1960’s to 2000 alone. Nicknamed the Golden Voice of Prague, where he has lived since the age of six, he sold some 50 million copies throughout the course of an incredibly prolific career spanning more than five decades. Although best known for his singing and musical career, Gott also made a name for himself in the Czech Republic and beyond as a painter from the early 1990’s.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.

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