Polish singer Ewa Demarczyk dies at 79

Ewa Demarczyk, a legendary Polish singer and actress, died in the southern city of Kraków on Friday at the age of 79.

Ewa Demarczyk in 1986.

Ewa Demarczyk in 1986. Photo: PAP/Jerzy Ochoński

Dubbed the Polish Edith Piaf, she was one of the greatest personalities on the Polish music scene of the last four decades of the 20th century.

A graduate of the Drama Academy in Kraków, she made her debut in 1962 in the city’s famous Cellar under the Rams venue.

The following year she won the top accolades at the Polish Song Festival in Opole and the International Song Festival in Sopot for her interpretation of Grand Valse Brillante, with lyrics by Julian Tuwim. 

These successes rocketed Demarczyk to international fame. Over the next few years, she performed at the Paris Olympia, New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Variety Arts Centre in London.

Her strong, almost violent voice, unparalleled musicality and a dramatic interpretative power won her extraordinary popularity.

Demarczyk paid little attention to show business gossip, taking no notice of the latest fads. Her decision to withdraw from artistic activity in 2000 came as a big disappointment to her fans.

Her distinctions included the Commander’s Cross with a Star of the Order of Reborn Poland and the Gold Gloria Artis Medal of Merit for Culture.

(mk/pk)

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