Urmas Alender

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Urmas Alender
Birth name Urmas Alender
Born (1953-11-22)22 November 1953
Origin Tallinn, Estonia
Died 28 September 1994(1994-09-28) (aged 40)
MS Estonia (sunk) Baltic Sea
Genres Rock
Progressive rock
Folk rock
Punk rock
Occupations Vocalist
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1969-1994
Associated acts Shades (1969–1970)
Andromeeda (1971–1974)
Teravik (1973–1976)
Data (1988–1989)
Propeller (1979–1980)
Ruja (1971–1988)
Kaseke (1983)

Urmas Alender (22 November 1953 – 28 September 1994)[1] was an Estonian singer and musician who is possibly best recalled as the vocalist of such popular Estonian bands as Ruja and Propeller.

Born in Tallinn, Estonia,[2] Alender began his musical career in the rock band Shades in 1969 but departed the following year to become the vocalist for Andromeeda.[2]

In 1971, Alender fronted the progressive rock band Ruja with pianist Rein Rannap. The band was influenced by such Western acts as Genesis, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson and often incorporated the poetry of Estonian writers Juhan Viiding and Ott Arder into the lyrics.[3] The band were one of the first nationally commercially successful rock bands to perform in their native Estonian language.[3] Alender would remain with the band until its demise in 1988.

From 1979 until 1980, Urmas Alender also fronted the Estonian punk rock band Propeller. Other bands Alender performed with were Teravik (1973–1976), Data (1988–1989), and in 1983, he briefly played in an outfit called Kaseke.

In 1987, Alender appeared in the Estonian rockumentary Pingul keel (Tightened String) alongside such other popular Estonian musicians as Tõnis Mägi, Ivo Linna and Anne Veski.[4]

After years of being harassed by the KGB and Soviet authorities, Alender temporarily emigrated to Sweden in 1989.[5]

On 28 September 1994, while en route from Tallinn to Stockholm, Sweden, Urmas Alender died when the cruiseferry MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea. He is survived by a daughter, Yoko Alender.[3]

In 2003, Liia Sakkos made a documentary about Alender, titled Teisel pool vett (English: On the Other Side of the Water, also a title of a song by Ruja).

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