Today marks 12 years since one of the biggest stars in the Balkans, and the Macedonia’s Eurovision entrant from 2004, Toše Proeski, died in a car crash in Croatia, aged only 26.
Toše Proeski was an actor, singer and songwriter from North Macedonia. He was the winner of the very first edition of Beovizija in 2003, which later became the festival in which Serbia was selecting their Eurovision entries. One year later, he was internally chosen by the Macedonian MRT to represent his country in Eurovision. He performed “Life” and finished in 14th place in Istanbul with 47 points (12 from Serbia & Montenegro), which was at the time, the country’s best result in Eurovision.
During his career, Toše Proeski recorded songs with all of the biggest names in the Ex-Yugoslav pop music scene, including Tony Cetinski, Karolina Goćeva, Goca Tržan, Antonija Šola, Anja Rupel, but also sang with Luciano Pavarotti, Gianna Nannini, Esma Redžepova, Željko Joksimović, Tijana Dapčević, Leontina, and many others. Apart from performing countless sold-out concerts, he was involved in various humanitarian actions and charities.
He released his last album in 2007, titled “Igri bez granici” (Games Without Borders), and he worked on a new album with songs in English before he tragically died in a car crash in Croatia in 2007. This album, titled “The Hardest Thing” was released posthumously in 2009. Recording for the album took place in Ireland, Sweden, England and Jamaica. Video footage of the recording sessions were later assembled into a music video for “The Hardest Thing”.
12 years after his death, the government of North Macedonia renamed the biggest sports stadium in the country after Toše. At this very stadium, he held one of his last concerts in front of 50,000 people. His colleagues are still saying that Toše’s songs and tips will be remembered for the rest of their lives and that he will forever be missed.