Oliver Dragojević: Remembering the Legend on His 71st Birthday

Daniela Rogulj

December 7, 2018 – Oliver Dragojević was born today in 1947 in Split, though he was originally from Vela Luka, where he also spent his childhood. Oliver was particularly connected with Split where he attended music school, and also made the first steps in his musical career, reports Dalmacija Danas

His first encounter with music was at the age of five when his father Marko gifted him an accordion. Oliver would entertain passersby on his street, and boat passengers on the regular Split-Vela Luka route. His first feature appearance was at the Split Children’s Festival in 1961 with the popular song ‘Baloni’.

Oliver’s festival debut was at the Split Festival in 1967. He attended at the invitation of Zdenko Runjić and played the song ‘Picaferaj’. Though the song did not make it to the final festival night, it became one of his eternal hits.


Throughout his lifetime, Oliver’s voice and modesty delighted his fans at concerts all over the world, and it was not unlike him to perform at humanitarian concerts to help those most in need. It was at HNK Split where he took part in the concert “Believe in Love” organized by the County Cancer League for 50 years of dedicated work. The concert was held in October 2017.


However, no one knew that it would be the last public performance of the legendary Oliver Dragojević, whose words after the concert certainly confirm why he was an audience favorite and someone whose songs will remain forever written in the souls of not just Split people, but his admirers around the world. 

“Here’s something that works for the people, and that is helping anyone in need. That’s a message – believe in love. Being a man is hard, and finding himself is even harder,” Oliver said at the end of the concert.


Oliver had planned to celebrate his 70th birthday with a great concert in Split, where he hoped to mark 50 years of his career, though his illness, unfortunately, prevented him from performing and the concerts were finally canceled.

A few months later, in March this year, Oliver addressed his fans at the Porin, where he was honored with the lifetime achievement award, reports Index.hr.

“I would like to mention a man who marked half my life, and that is Zdenko Runjić. There are a lot of good people around me, and this time the disease has stopped me from being with you. As a child, I wanted to play and sing, and that dream was somehow interrupted. Hello to all the good people around me and those who have supported me in this crisis. I hope there is still time for me to sing and play, and if things get better, it will be good,” Oliver said via a video message. 

“What should I say to you – enjoy, people, because life will be a fantasy,” Oliver said from his home for the last time, receiving huge applause.

Oliver was born December 7, 1947, and died on July 29, 2018. Oliver is buried in his beloved Vela Luka.

To read more about Oliver, follow TCN’s dedicated page here


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment