The Balkans is in widespread shock over the recent death of singer and songwriter Šaban Šaulić (pron. Shaban Shaulich).
The region has seen its share of differences, both recently and over the centuries. However, there's no debate across the former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria that Šaulić, a household name since at least the mid '70s, was the undisputed "King of Folk."
Šaban Šaulić had a distinctive, powerful voice, further distinguished by his unique ability to summon seemingly unlimited reserves of genuine emotion. Though he wrote some of his own songs, he relished being challenged by other singer/ songwriters. More often than not, they would pitch him their more difficult projects, taking advantage of a vocal range they themselves could not hope to match.
Šaulić was also known for helping aspiring singers get their start, co-writing songs and being closely involved in regional talent contests.
Music is a universal language and it frequently unites the Balkans; a region which is often difficult to understand.
In that spirit, although it's impossible to distill 34 studio albums, produced over 50 years, we present a selection of Šaulić's hits, with the titles translated from the original Serbo/ Croatian -
Among Šaulić's more recent hit songs, Žal has been widely acclaimed, with almost 35 million views on YouTube at time of writing. Its typically lilting harmonies, haunting melody and yet modern arrangement make the song a solid introduction to Balkan folk music.
Otkad tebe znam (2017)
Since I have known you
Ti možeš sve (2013)
You can do anything
A "Šadrvan" (pl. Šadrvani) is a type of fountain
Ti me varaš najbolje (2002)
You cheat (me) best
Hajde mala da pravimo lom (1994)
loosely translated - Come on girl, let's party
Kraljice srca mog (1985)
Queen of my heart
Noćas mi se s tobom spava (1985)
Tonight I'd sleep beside you
Odlaziš odlaziš (1983)
Sneg je opet Snežana (1981)
It's snowing again, Snežana
Šaulić is joined here by fellow folk legend Haris Džinović (pron. Dzheenovich).
Dođi da ostarimo zajedno (1978)
Come, we'll grow old together