Karel Gott won his 36th annual popularity award

In Culture, Media, Music on November 28, 2010 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,

There are several kinds of music awards in the Czech Republic. One of them is based on actual achievements and is awarded by an “academy”. And there is one that is based solely on popularity. It is called The Czech Nightingale (Cesky slavik) and it dates back to the period of communism. This year’s “singer of the year” award went, again, to Karel Gott. It is his 36th award of that name.

Gott is a good singer of his genre and he definitely works hard. On the other hand, he does not produce new albums very often and his actual achievements during this year are not worth mentioning at all. The fact that he keeps winning is that he became, sort of, a legend. He has thousands of die-hard fans among the 45+ audience, not to mention the 60+ audience. In other words, he is “their” singer and he is one of the few certainties some people have left. The fact that they cast their vote for him via SMS is one of the things that keep their worlds from falling apart, as the world around them keeps changing.

The fact that music enthusiasts cannot find anybody else to vote for is interpreted by some critics as “still waters of Czech mentality”, which is sometimes referred to as “musty but warm”.

Having an award show in December just to tell musicians we like them, no matter what they have done during the particular year is strange, of course. But since the award show is broadcast by a commercial TV station, it is possible to wave it off just by saying it is a part of the music business. Plus, when it comes to Karel Gott, no award show is going to make him more or less popular than he is now…  

Photo (c) Denik Sip (

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