Singer Naďa Urbanková at the gala concert of the winners of the Golden and Czech Nightingales, which took place on February 1, 2022 at Žofín in Prague.
Prague – The singer and actress Naďa Urbánková died on Friday evening at the age of 83. Her daughter Jana Fabiánová informed about it on Facebook today.
Photogallery: Singer Naďa Urbánková
“It is with infinite pain in my heart that I have to share the saddest news with you. My beloved mother, singer, actress and five-time Golden Nightingale, Mrs. Naďa Urbanková, died yesterday evening, February 3, 2023, at the age of 83 from complications related to cancer and recently with covid-19,” wrote Fabiánová. At the same time, the daughter asked the public for privacy in order to cope with the death.
Naděžda Balabánová, as Urbánková was called when she was unmarried, was born on June 30, 1939 in Nové Paca and grew up in the village of Borovnička, where she started going to school. She graduated from the Higher Medical School in Trutnov and briefly worked as a nurse. In 1964, she got into Semafor. She appeared in front of the camera for the first time in the film musical If a thousand clarinets, she also played in the films Ostře oblázáné vlaky, Skrivánci na niti and Na samote u lesa. As a singer, she became famous especially with traffic light hits Drahý můj and Závidím and a successful era with Jiří Brabek's Country Beat.
Colleagues remember Urbánková as an excellent singer and actress
Her friend and music columnist Miloš Skalka remembers Naďa Urbanková as a funny and excellent singer and great actress. ČTK said that Urbánková brought a modern direction from overseas to Czech music. She interpreted songs of modern American country music in the 60s and 70s. Her singing colleagues also remember Urbanková.
“After the era of female singers of the 1950s, which would be the old-fashioned approach to music creation, Naďa essentially represented modernity,” Skalka told ČTK. He reminded that, like Urbánková, three other singers who were born in 1939 as Urbánková also made their mark in the history of Czech popular music. He mentioned Karel Gott, Josef Laufer and Eva Pilarová. “All of them made a significant mark and significantly changed the face of popular music, which had been rigid until then. And Naďa, because she had a tendency to sing songs of modern American country music, also brought us the popular direction from overseas,” noted Skalka.
According to Skalka, lyricist, musician and theater author Jiří Grossmann was very important to Urbanková's work, who wrote lyrics for American country songs for her during their joint engagement at the Semafor theater. According to Skalka, the lyrics perfectly corresponded to the meaning and plot of the original recordings. According to him, at the Semafor Theater, Urbanková acted as a “complete revelation”. “She was not only a funny and excellent singer, but she was also a great actress,” said ČTK, recalling her performance in the films “Ostře slaváné vlaky” and “Skřivánci na niti”, which were based on the literary works of Bohumil Hrabal. He also recalled that Urbanková popularized the wearing of distinctive glasses.
“I think we knew each other well and for a long time. Even when I heard the sad news about her passing, I took out a couple of CDs that she once signed for me,” added Skalka. “Here on that one CD it says 'My best friend, your Naďa'. That made me quite angry,” he added.
Also music columnist Josef Vlček in ČT24 singled out Urbanková's work, especially interpretations of foreign country songs. According to Vlček, Urbanková was able to feel her work and give it emotional depth, she enriched the scene with a number of catchy and still popular songs.
Urbánková is also remembered by her singing colleagues. “The death of my other colleague is extremely sad news for me. I am very sorry. I will only remember Naďa in good ways. Already now, memories of the wonderful performances we experienced together are playing in my head,” the singer said in a statement sent to ČTK Helena Vondráčková.
“It affected me a lot. Naďa and I were close,” singer Šárka Rezková, wife of Urbanková's former collaborator Jiří Brabec, also said in a sent statement.
“She she sang second voices on the record, and I sang hers. She recently told me that if she ever leaves, she wants me to continue singing her songs…”, she added.
Urbánková's death on twitter was also reminded by the Ministry of Culture. “The five-time Zlatá slavice became famous for traffic light hits and acting in award-winning and popular films; her twenty-year collaboration with Jiří Brabec's Country Beat brought her to the peak of popularity. Sincere condolences to her loved ones,” it said.