The Scoop๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ Serbia

๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ Sanja Iliฤ‡ passes away from Covid-19 complications, aged 69

We are sad to report that Serbian composer and keyboard player Sanja Iliฤ‡ has passed away. Iliฤ‡, who represented Serbia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 alongside his group Balkanika, was aged 69. He passed away due to complications caused by a Covid-19 infection.

Sanja Iliฤ‡: Founder of Balkanika

Back in 1998, Aleksandar “Sanja” Iliฤ‡ founded the group Balkanika. The goal of the group is to make sure Serbian medieval and byzantine musical tradition remain preserved for future generations. Their aim is to modernise and revitalise such traditions. With that objective in mind, the group, led by Iliฤ‡ himself, entered Beovizija 2018. They won the ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon.

Their song, Nova Deca, qualified for the final where they finished in nineteenth place, gathering a total of 113 points. Later, Nova Deca won the award for World/Etno Song of the Year during the Serbian Music Awards Ceremony. The song combines the Serbian language with the Torlakian dialect. Iliฤ‡ wrote the song together with Tanja Iliฤ‡ and Danica Krstiฤ‡. Darko Dimitrov was responsible for the production.

2018 was not the first outing for Iliฤ‡ at the Eurovision Song Contest. Back in 1982, he wrote the Yugoslav entry for Harrogate. The girl group Aska then finished in fourteenth with Halo, Halo. Before that, Iliฤ‡ was a member of rock group San. He will also live on in the memories of football fans supporting Belgrade club FK Crvena Zvezda, having composed their club anthem.

Sanja Iliฤ‡ was 69 years old. He passed away from complications due to attracting the Covid-19 virus.

The thoughts of the entire ESCXTRA.com Team are with Sanja Iliฤ‡’s family and friends in these difficult times. You can watch their performance from Eurovision 2018 below.

Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of ESCXTRA.com. Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

Comments on ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ Sanja Iliฤ‡ passes away from Covid-19 complications, aged 69

  • Danny Geske

    Lying! He died from a heart attack…

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