September 12, 1956
Turany nad Ondavou, CSR
|Years active||1975 –present|
Marika Gombitová (Slovak: [ˈmarɪka ˈɡɔmbɪtɔvaː], born September 12, 1956) is a Slovak recording artist, often referred to as The Songstress of the Century. Having sold over one million gramophone records, she is considered as the most prominent female vocalist in her country of origin. Apart from her idiosyncratic vocal and distinctive interpreting skills, her artistry has been credited for its diverse musical style, as well her composing capabilities. She also became known for a series of sonically innovative studio albums released in the 1980s. The authors of her self-titled biography book published in 2008, labeled Gombitová as a "singer-genius and very private person."
Gombitová started to receive her early critical acclaim as the lead female vocalist of the group Modus since 1976. Nevertheless, she gradually developed her public image as a soloist, making own professional debut on short play in 1977. Subsequently after winning Bratislavská lýra with "Študentská láska" (1978), her debut album entitled Dievča do dažďa (1979) saw its eventual release on OPUS Records,selling over 200,000 units. Its lead, "Vyznanie", earned several music awards; most notably at the 4th Intervision Song Festival held in Sopot, Poland (1980). In addition, the song was voted by STV audience as "The Hit of the Century" (2007), being covered by a number of other musicians.
Prior to the launching of her second set, Môj malý príbeh (1981), her career was adversely affected by a serious single-car accident. Even though singer survived, as a result of multiple injuries she has been tied to a wheelchair for life. Following a six month recovery, artist returned to the spotlight scoring new top rankings and even touring again. Her comeback album, Slnečný kalendár (1982), continued with the previously established sound, such as mainly pop rock; shortly she began to explore also other styles in her work. While her unconventional guitar-based double set, Mince na dne fontán (1983), earned the Gold Arms award for the Best Audio Recording, its successor called Marika №5 (1984) would find her experimenting with electronic music for a change, giving Gombitová some of her strongest reviews ever. The album considered for one of the most influential in her geographical region, yet it proved to be less thriving in terms of commercial outcomes.
During the second half of the 1980s, she thus carried on achieving commercial success through a radio-friendly format. Her consecutively running synthpop outputs, Voľné miesto v srdci (1986) and Ateliér duše (1987), they both enjoyed a series of airplay hit singles, being accompanied with her sold-out concert tour Adresa ja, adresa ty. After the less favorably viewed album, Kam idú ľudia? (1990) that served as her closing release on OPUS, her career went on to a hiatus. Prior to her ultimate withdrawal from public, she issued through Jumbo Records Zostaň (1994), her final studio effort to date. However, singer expressed occasional sentiments to deliver a new full-length material in the 21st century, she would regularly cite medical reasons for dropping out from further recording involvements. Since then, her rare appearance has been limited to casual single releases, such as "Prosba" (2000), or rather her duets "Nespáľme to krásne v nás" (2001) and "Tajnosľubná" (2005); both recorded with former co-worker Miro Žbirka.
Despite her premature retirement, Gombitová is regarded as a dominant figure in popular culture whose achievements reflect her influence in redefining the scope of Czechoslovak pop music. She has been quoted as an inspiration by numerous artists leaving an indelible imprint on the music industry as a whole. Beside her countless awards, she was inducted into the Grand Prix ZAI Hall of Fame (1996) becoming at the age of thirty-nine years the first and only such female case by now in her native country. Moreover, six out of her nine studio albums in total were listed among The 100 Greatest Slovak Albums of All Time, making Gombitová the most successful solo act in the history of Slovak contemporary music. Her work remains being periodically played by major local radio stations. Most currently, her multi-platinum compilation called Vyznanie (2007) peaked at number twenty-three on the Czech Albums — Top 100 chart, and her latest airplay single "Tak som chcela všetkých milovať", it reached on the Slovak component playlist number twenty.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Artistry
- 3 Legacy
- 4 Discography
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Tours
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
1956–77: Early years and early recordings
One of the singer's most recognized songs from 1987. The lyrics stress her interrupted career, culminating in the chorus: "Coliseum / Glory, then a fall / How many times time's come to halt / A stone is glorious itself / Coliseum / Fame is a fall / How many times time's come to halt / The stone is famous itself / Above all alone."
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Marika Gombitová was born on September 12, 1956 in village Turany nad Ondavou, east Slovakia, as the seventh descendent of Michal (December 19, 1913) and Margita (August 19, 1921, née Novotňáková). However two of their former daughters — one of which was already given the name [Mária] — died due to hypothermia. Since the age of nine, she was taking piano lessons in the local Ľudová škola umenia (LŠU) in Stropkov. Following her failure to study singing at the Music school, she continued with engineering in Košice. While on high school, she sang with an amateur band called Profily. Later she would shortly perform for the orchestras of Juraj Szabadoš and Július Olajoš, respectively.
In 1975, Gombitová made her first recordings ("Karta" and "Nájdem hviezdu") at Slovak Radio Košice. The next year, she received an offer from Janko Lehotský, frontman of the Modus band, to join his professional group. Following the leaving exam she, therefore, moved to Bratislava and got an initial exposure in Slovak Television with songs "Lúčenie" and "Túto pieseň spievam vám" (both co-written by Lehotský), performed in Chvíľa pre pesničku in 1976. At first, she would release a number of singles with Modus (such as "Veľký sen mora", "Margaréta", "Zažni" — all from 1977) as a backing vocalist. Her solo part came along with the Bratislavská lýra '77 winning composition "Úsmev" that featured also vocal contributions by Lehotský, Miro Žbirka and Miro Jevčák. Subsequently, Gombitová recorded her debut solo single entitled "Boľavé námestie." For the first time, her name appears in the national music poll Zlatý slavík, being ranked as the 46th Most Popular Female Singer in Czechoslovakia in 1977 (Modus scored at number #6).
1978–80: "Študentská láska," "Vyznanie," Intervision prize and car accident
The second solo single by Gombitová, "Študentská láska," was issued in 1978. The song won two awards at the Bratislavská lýra '78 festival, being classified as the most selling SP in July in Slovakia. She also recorded four tracks on the Motion Picture Soundtrack of Smoliari (issued in 1979), and her position in annual Zlatý slavík skyrocketed to number #4 this time (Next year she scored at #3, while at #2 in 1980). Following her contribution to the Collegium Musicum's full length project entitled On a Ona, Gombitová along with Modus was headed in February 1979 to the recording studio to work on their self-titled debut album. In addition, she would also release her own debut set Dievča do dažďa. With its pilot single "Vyznanie," Gombitová entered the 4th Intervision Song Festival held in Sopot, Poland on August 20–23, 1980. As a result, she received the first prize in the competition representing record companies, shared with Nikolai Gnatiuk from Russia (for the song "Dance on a Drum").
|This section requires expansion with: 1980s to present. (June 2012)|
Voice and timbre
- Prior to accident
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With ambitus registered at F♯2, Gombitová possesses an over two-octave vocal range and has the ability to reach notes beyond H2, when using head register. In the early phase of her solo career, she underwent vocal training with coach František Tugendlieb, whose supervision included a broad range of her peers recording artists. Tugendlieb had become proverbial for dividing off head register from chest voice, allowing production of nasal tones, which resulted in a greasy-voiced sound distinctive for overtone singing, or rather children. As such it was popularized by Bee Gees. Unlike her later imitators (e.g. Darina Rolincová as the most notorious in the 1980s), Gombitová's vocal style was not similar to other pop stars of that period and she soon introduced her own modus, establishing herself as The Songstress of the Century in the 21st century.
Reactions to the "childlike quality" of her vocals changed with the release of her solo debut album Dievča do dažďa (1979). Peter Lipták praised Gombitová for "[her] beautifully metallic, a bit heavily-sounding voice", while František Horáček from Populár went in his superlative review even further when compared "[her] original, metallic-sharp timbre" to "the tonal compression of organ pipes". He would also emphasize her "absolutely extraordinary way to split a melody" and "phrasing that brings an outstanding tension — the bigger the slower is [her] composition". Other critics, such as one of the Czech most intransigent Jan Rejžek, he described Gombitová's voice as "circularly laserlike", and even later looked up to artist as a "self-sufficient and sovereign rival of Zlatý slavík-winning singers" who is aware when "to set toxic heights to make your flesh so longly-for creep — making it a party, instead a public holiday". In response to her second set Môj malý príbeh (1980), record producer Július Kinček stated that writing about "[her] original vocal, excellent technique, sound sense for rock genre, flawless phrasing and great musicianship... [it] has already become by now bringing the wood to the forest". He also attributed much of her success to Gombitová's "admirable way to seize emotional tension of compositions on the first place". Nevertheless, Marián Jaslovský as the only criticized most of the singer's vocal outputs from the soundtrack Neberte nám princeznú (1980), and reportedly for her "traditionally artificial exhibition", which he saw unsupportive toward fluidity of Ursiny's songs.
- After accident
In order to achieve maximum results from her subsequent car accident events, on account of which singer then lost perception over two thirds of her bodily functions — among other also lower part of her lungs, so much of significance for a breath control —, Gombitová had to acquire a new vocal technique. Curiously enough, condition of her voice had seemed to be untouched and reviewists continued with being enthusiastic. Populár music columnist Dagmar Kolářová complimented Gombitová on her "singing artistry", no less her attitude for "expressive style" she delivered on her comeback album Slnečný kalendár (1982). Miloš Skalka of Mladá fronta praised her ensuing live performances on Mince na dne fontán Tour (1983) for "[her] excellent vocal dispositions and secure intonation". Život magazine, for a change, documented "the sincerity of [her] testimony, persuasiveness of [her] interpretation, which extends to simplicity." Author Vladimír Petr from Rytmus circumscribed her vocalizing in depth, pointing for the singer's voice out "[it] is none of average that would disturb, or attract. The other way around, [and] for which applies only two extreme options as maximum — either you accept it as it comes with its provocative metallic pitches and [her] girlish whisper, or you are not capable of listening to, due to all said attributes."
Over the course of her career, Gombitová's voice grew deeper and fuller as noticed by Populár in the middle of the 1980s. Ivan Kytka observed on her Adresa ja, adresa ty Tour (1985/87) that her "once thin laser voice gained new positions and keys", whereas he stressed that singer expanded her brand as a confident composer, too. Her 1990s vocal input for Kam idú ľudia? (1990) was seen less favorably by critics, which then blamed her album performances for artificiality, arbitrary phrasing, as well "language-rape" as written in Andrej Turok's review. Although, he did not disclaim Gombitová's constant "flawless intonation", respectively "[her] civilized singing" on down-tempo tracks, on the contrary. Since the 21st century, Gombitová has sung in her medium-ranged voice ("Nespáľme to krásne v nás" and "Tajnosľubná"), with exception of her higher register for the chorus ("Prosba"). Following several abortive efforts to encourage artist to return to the studios, the media began to speculate on a loss of her voice in 2004. Czech Právo printed a statement, upon which "[she] refuses to return to the spotlight in fear her triumphant comeback could turn into a total fiasco". Those guessings were turned down by her lifetime lyricist Kamil Peteraj, who stated for the press that "[her] problem does not concern [her] voice but psychic." His opinion confirmed ex-opera singer and vocal pedagogue Dagmar Livorová, however, she admitted herself that such injuries as of bottom sections of abdomen may result in a collapse when vocally performing. Žbirka, with whom Gombitová recorded two of her final recordings to date, finds difficult in essence to inspire artist with a new material.
Music videos and live performances
- Music videos
Prior to the music video-era, which arrived with the MTV broadcast in the early 1980s in the U.S., Czechoslovak audience had no representative music channel focusing predominantly on playing music videos either afterwards. The local artists presented their work through imagery of various TV programs delivered on the state-owned network. Gombitová received her exposure on the national television on November 30, 1976, performing "Túto pieseň spievam vám" along with "Lúčenie" for Chvíľa pre pesničku. Two weeks later, on December 11, she also appeared on the showbill of Vyberte si pesničku. This time around though, she introduced a song called "Ty vieš, mama", issued as B-side of her debut single that followed shortly. In 1978, her "Letná pieseň" found a rapport on additional televised charts, such as Našich 9, which she eventually topped with duet "S tou nádejou choď spať" featuring Lehotský. Needless to say, censorship had been a regular subject of intense debate during the red regime in her country and the communist party maintained to supervise lyrical content of all public recordings by means of then devoted committees. Gombitová thus would not gain a full control over her own creative outputs. At least until the perestroika's initial period that allowed more independent actions towards cultural field, including some market-like reforms similar to Western style.
Furthermore, her mobility impairment has led to herself being viewed as a physically disabled artist since 1981, and it has largely afflicted also such aspects of her subsequent recording career as producing promotional video clips and, especially, her live performances. Nevertheless, singer would substantially contribute to the local music video even later. Her impact on the music video sphere equally document several wins of her songs on varied popular video charts, such as 5 x P and Triangel. While the first she entered with "Muž Nula" (1984), its successor served as instrumental to support her continual popularity in the region through additional number-one hits; namely "Zem menom láska" (1985), "Chlapci v pasci" (1986), "Koloseum" (1988) and "Paradiso" (1995) In an attempt to afford more visual liberties and enhance her recorded work with more striking video clips, Gombitová teamed up with director Ladislav Kaboš and Ján Ďuriš (credited as camera operator) in 1987. The "trio" crafted a video album entitled Ateliér duše, recognized as the first video release by any native-born artist. The videotape featured seven 35 mm films produced by Koliba Film Studios, six of which were to promote compositions from the corresponding studio album of the same title. In addition and before the dissolution of the federal state in the 1990s, Gombitová became on June 20, 1990 the first local singer to appear on the Austrian video chart Die Großen Zehn, presenting for ORF the lead single from her Kam idú ľudia? set entitled "Babylónia" (dir. Peter Sedlák).
- Live performances
|This section requires expansion with: Live performances. (December 2011)|
Honors and awards
Marika Gombitová has received numerous awards and accolades in recognition of her success in the music industry. At the turn of the 3rd millennium, she was named The Songstress of the Century and her achievements in the music genre has made others to call her "The First Lady of Slovak Pop Music", respectively. As of 2014, she has accumulated a total of 118 awards and/or nominations, and her list also includes a number of music recording certifications received for the sale of her studio albums. Her double win at the Bratislavská lýra in 1978 with "Študentská láska" became a significant milestone in her solo career, which led to the award's Silver in 1979 (for "Vyznanie") and its Bronze equivalent (for her duet "Tajomstvo hier" with Lehotský) in 1980. Prior to surviving her car accident, she was bestowed an Intervision award from the East European International Radio and Television Organisation in response to her live performance of songs "Vyznanie" and "Chcem sa s tebou deliť", accomplished in 1980 in Sopot, Poland. Besides, her signature song ("Vyznanie") won the countrywide competition run by Slovak public TV network in 2007 as The Hit of the Century.
In a career spanning more or less three decades, Gombitová had sold more than one million LP records in the vinyl era. On March 2, 1996, she became the first female performer, so well one of the first inductees ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame by Grand Prix ZAI academics. She also holds the record as the artist with the most releases listed among The 100 Greatest Slovak Albums of All Time. Six of her solo studio albums were ranked as some of those best, and the overall index features also her vocal contribution to additional nominated releases (such as co-recorded with Modus and Žbirka, or delivered for Neberte nám princeznú soundtrack). Aside from her critical accomplishments, Gombitová has been frequently voted in national annual music polls, namely Zlatý slavík and its subsequent equivalents, i.e. Slovenský slávik and Slávik. While eventually winning two editions (1997–98), she topped eight times (1980, 1982–83, 1998, 2000–02, 2005) as the second Most Popular Female Singer in the country, despite showing no particular interest in accepting these recognitions. For her other cultural and/or lifetime achievements, she is also a recipient of the Main Prize by the Culture Ministry of the Czechoslovakia (1986), the Freedom of the City of her birth municipality (2007), as well of the town of Stropkov (2013) and, among others, The Woman of the Year title (2008).
|1978||"S tou nádejou choď spať"||Našich 9||—|||
|1980||"Vyznanie"/"Chcem sa s tebou deliť"||Intervision||
|1984||"Muž Nula"||5 x P||—|||
|1985||"Zem menom láska"||Zlatý triangel||
|1986||"Chlapci v pasci"|
|Adresa ja, adresa ty Tour||Ministry of Culture of
|Ústí nad Labem National
Contest of Musical Programs
|Central Committee of the
Slovak Women Union
|Grand Prix ZAI||
|2000||Herself||Songstress of the Century||—|||
|2007||"Vyznanie"||Hit of the Century||—|||
|Herself||Freedom of the City|||
|2013||Herself||Miková Festival of
the Rusyns Culture
|Freedom of the City|||
|Note: The years are listed in order of the respective calendar years; the annual ceremonies are usually held the next.|
- Studio albums
|1978||Smoliari||voice role||Dušan Kodaj|||
|1981||Neberte nám princeznú||Katka||Martin Hoffmeister|||
|1986||Pa a Pi||voice role||Miroslav Sobota and Dalimil Koutek||
- 1977/78: Úsmev Tour (with Modus)
- 1978/80: Balíček snov Tour (with Modus)
- 1983: Mince na dne fontán Tour
- 1985/87: Adresa ja, adresa ty Tour
- Slovak popular music
- The 100 Greatest Slovak Albums of All Time
- Honorific nicknames in popular music
- List of singer-songwriters
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- Žbirka, Miroslav (2001). Modrý album (Liner Notes) (Compact Disc) (in Slovak). CR: Universal. 013 754.
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- Gombitová, Marika (1987). Ateliér duše — VHS (Liner Notes) (Video Home System) (in Slovak). Marika Gombitová. Czechoslovakia: Videofilm SFT Koliba.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, pp. 177–178.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, p. 204.
- For videography by Gombitová, use the muzikacs-link browsing her name in a searching-field (placed above "TV PROGRAM").
- Kytka, Ivan (1986). "Marika Gombitová: Interview, Melodie, June Issue.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, p. 70.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, p. 90.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, pp. 428–440.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, pp. 421, 432.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, pp. 420–421.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, pp. 170, 422.
- Grejták, Milan (2007-10-26). "Delighted Marika". SME (in Slovak). Petit Press. Retrieved 2011-04-18.
- "Stropkov → Proposal to Awards → Proposal to Freedom of City Awards → Marika Gombitová". The Town of Stropkov - Municipal Council (in Slovak). TS - MC. 2013-12-11. stropkov.sk. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- "Showbusiness → Local Showbusiness → She Spoke Out After Two Years! Gombitová Left a Candid Message to Fans". Pluska (in Slovak). Spoločnosť 7 PLUS. 2013-02-22. pluska.sk. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- "The Woman Of The 21st Century 2007 Became Marika Gombitová". News Agency of the Slovak Republic (TASR) (in Slovak). Bratislava, Slovakia: Petit Press. 2008-04-26. sme.sk. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, p. 56.
- "Marika Gombitová - Awards". Občianske združenie Osobnosti.sk (in Slovak). NWS. osobnosti.sk. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, p. 72.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, p. 81.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, p. 170.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, p. 191.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, p. 227.
- Graclík & Nekvapil 2008, p. 426.
- "Osobnosť televíznej obrazovky (OTO) 2001 → Results". Art Production Agency (in Slovak). Ringier Axel Springer Slovakia. anketaoto.sk. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- mš (2013-08). "Edition 2013/8/32 → Marika Gombitová Awarded at Miková". DUKLA (in Slovak). ActiveNet, s.r.o. e-dukla.sk. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- "Neberte nám princeznu (1981), directed by Martin Hoffmeister". Film Database (in Czech). Filmová databáze. fdb.cz. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- "Smoliari (1978), directed by Dušan Kodaj". Film Database (in Czech). Filmová databáze. fdb.cz. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- "Pa a Pi (1986), directed by Miroslav Sobota & Dalimil Koutek". Film Database (in Czech). Filmová databáze. fdb.cz. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- Graclík, Miroslav; Nekvapil, Václav (2008). Marika Gombitová: An Unauthorized Lifestory of the Legend of Czechoslovak Pop Music (in Czech). Prague, Czech Republic: XYZ. p. 446. ISBN 978-80-7388-115-3. OCLC 294939865. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Lehotský, Oskar (2008-04-23). "Slovak Popular Music In The Years 1977-1989 — Marika Gombitová". Comenius University, Faculty of Arts (in Slovak) (Bratislava, Slovakia). Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- Lehotský, Oskar (2008-04-23). "Slovak Popular Music In The Years 1977-1989 — Modus". Comenius University, Faculty of Arts (in Slovak) (Bratislava, Slovakia). Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- Graclík, Miroslav; Nekvapil, Václav (2008). "Marika Gombitová: Neautorizovaný životný príbeh legendy česko-slovenskej pop music". XYZ (in Slovak) (1st ed.) (Bratislava, Slovakia: XYZ). p. 446. ISBN 978-80-7388-120-7. OCLC 298779121. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
- Vejvoda, Jiří (1990). Nárok na ro(c)k: Dvacet vyznání československých pop/rockových hvězd (in Czech) (1st ed.). Prague, Czech Republic: Supraphon. p. 230. ISBN 978-80-7058-222-0. OCLC 38721273. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
- Zajíc, Miroslav (1989). "Inventura aneb Dvacet let fotoreportérem Mladého světa". Mladá fronta (in Czech) (1st ed.) (Prague, Czech Republic: MAFRA). p. 255. ISBN 978-80-204-0123-6. OCLC 24669912. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
- Kamenistý, Ján (1990). "Ako kopú múzy: Rozhovory s umelcami". Smena. Edícia Orientácia (in Czech and Slovak) (1st ed.) (Bratislava, Slovakia). p. 263. ISBN 978-80-221-0036-6. OCLC 23772235. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
- Matzner, Antonín; Poledňák, Ivan; Wasserberger, Igor (1990). "Encyklopedie jazzu a moderní populární hudby". Editio Supraphon (in Czech) (1st ed.) (Prague, Czech Republic: Supraphon). p. 649. ISBN 978-80-7058-210-7. OCLC 7579266. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
- Žbirka, Miroslav; Kollár, Jozef (2002). Meky (in Czech and Slovak) (1st ed.). Bratislava, Slovakia: IKAR. p. 165. ISBN 978-80-249-0134-3. OCLC 53266790. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
- Krůta, Jan; Hucek, Miroslav; Zajíc, Miroslav (2003). Klec na slavíky: O zpívání do zlata i do bláta - Zlatý (Český) slavík 1962-2002 (in Czech) (1st ed.). Prague, Czech Republic: Epocha. p. 360. ISBN 978-80-86328-27-0. OCLC 56872847. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
- Paulička, Ivan (2002). "Všeobecný encyklopedický slovník: G - L". Cesty (in Czech) (2nd ed.) (Prague, Czech Republic: Ottovo nakladatelství). p. 943. ISBN 978-80-7181-659-1. OCLC 51189343. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
|Find more about Marika Gombitová at Wikipedia's sister projects|
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- Official website
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- Marika Gombitová at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Marika Gombitová in libraries (WorldCat catalog)