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Polish super-diva Violetta Villas dies

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 06.12.2011 09:00
Violetta Villas, one of the Polands most celebrated singers and stage performers, has passed away aged 73.

photo - PAP/Zbigniew Matuszewski

A sensation in Poland during the 1960s, Villas toured much of the Eastern bloc, and later, during a spell in America, she performed duets with such stars as Sinatra, Streisand and Sammy Davis Junior.

However, domestic problems cut short the international career that seemed there for the taking. When her mother's health deteriorated, Villas was compelled to turn down an eight-year contract with Paramount.

The singer's passport was then confiscated by the communist authorities, and she did not leave Poland for over a decade.

She was finally able to return to the States in 1987, beginning a tour at the Carnegie Hall, where she received a standing ovation.

Violetta Villas (nee Cieslak) was born in Belgium in 1937, the daughter of a Polish miner and bandmaster.

The family returned to Poland in 1948, and she began studying music, debuting on Polish Radio in 1960.

Besides her career as a singer and songwriter, Villas frequently appeared in Polish television shows, and she took a number of movie roles.

She married twice and is survived by a son from the first marriage. (nh/pg)

Violetta Villas - Oczy czarne (Black eyes)

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