Macedonian Singer's Death Saddens Balkans Music fans across the Balkans are mourning Tose Proeski, a Macedonian entertainer whose pop ballads, sung in many different languages, bridged political divides. Proeski, 26, died in a recent car crash.
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Macedonian Singer's Death Saddens Balkans

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Macedonian Singer's Death Saddens Balkans

Macedonian Singer's Death Saddens Balkans

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ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

Though bitter ethnic animosity still lingers in the nations of the former Yugoslavia, a Macedonian pop star named Tose Proeski managed to bridge the divides through his music.

He was killed earlier this week in a car crash - just 26 years old. Tose Proeski was classically trained as an opera singer but it was his highly-produced pop ballads and his stage presence that won over pretty much everyone throughout the Balkans.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. TOSE PROESKI (Singer): (Singing) (Macedonian spoken)

SEABROOK: Macedonia's ambassador to the United States Zoran Jolevski says the musician's appeal crossed borders because he sang in so many different languages.

Ambassador ZORAN JOLEVSKI (Macedonia Ambassador to the United States): He was singing in Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian, English. Because he was famous all over the region, he thought that he should be closer to the people who are hearing him and it's important also to sing the song on their own language. He was equally famous in Macedonia, in Croatia, in Serbia, in Bosnia.

SEABROOK: Macedonians, especially, are grieving, the ambassador told us, because Tose Proeski gave back so much to his country.

Ambassador JOLEVSKI: You know, he was a person with huge energy and a huge desire for life. And when you look at what he has done in Macedonia, it's tremendous. He was singing for child clinics. He was singing for schools. He received the prize of Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa was born in Skopje and our - we have Association of Mother Teresa. And every year, it's giving prize to the people who are doing a lot of work helping people in needs.

SEABROOK: Tose Proeski died this week in a car crash at the age of 26. He was given a state funeral at his native town of Krusevo, Macedonia.

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