Dražen Žerić

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Dražen Žerić
Dražen Žerić 2014.JPG
Background information
Also known as Žera
Born (1964-07-20) July 20, 1964 (age 53)
Mostar, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts Crvena Jabuka

Dražen "Žera" Žerić (born 20 July 1964) is a Bosnian singer and one of the founders and lead vocalist of a famous Bosnian band, Crvena jabuka (The Red Apple). He was born to Bosnian Muslim parents.

Noted for his spiky hair and a distinctive voice, he remains one of the most recognizable vocals of the entire area of Former Yugoslavia.


Early years[edit]

Žera was born in the city of Mostar, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia. Both of his parents were professors at the University of Sarajevo. Žera has one brother, Damir, who lives in Rome (Italy).

Žera grew up in Sarajevo where he attended music school for piano, as well as the primary and secondary school. He later earned economics degree at University of Sarajevo.

From early to mid 1985 Zlatko Arslanagić formed a band with his mates Dražen Ričl, Aljoša Buha, and Cunja Jelčić and Žera. That was the beginning of Crvena jabuka.

Crvena jabuka quickly became one of the most successful bands in Yugoslavia topping charts year after year, from 1985 to 1990. In 1986 on the way to a concert in Mostar, near Jablanica lake the entire band had a terrible car accident where Aljosa Buha died immediately. Lead singer Drazen Ricl- Zijo died in October 1986 from the consequences of the car accident. The guitarist and the Other band members were badly hurt. A year passed after the accident and fans were expecting them to continue with Zijo's music. Zera and Zlaja had some songs that Zijo wrote and composed so they named Zera, who was a keyboard player at the time before the accident, the lead singer. After some time Žera became recognized as one of the biggest teenage idols along with Bajaga and Boris Novković.

The band's so called Yugoslav years ended in 1990 by winning the prestige Messam music award in Belgrade which crowned their most successful album Tamo gdje ljubav počinje (There, where love begins).

War and post-war[edit]

In 1992 as the Yugoslav War advanced into Sarajevo, the entire Yugoslavian music scene toppled. Žera spent two years under the Serbian siege in Sarajevo doing humanitarian work and charity concerts along with singers Kemal Monteno, Mladen Vojičić Tifa and Zlatan Fazlić-Fazla.

By the end of 1994 Žera moved to Zagreb, Croatia. He was quickly granted Croatian citizenship and in the early 1995 he signed the contract with a Croatian music label Tutico, reuniting Crvena Jabuka along with their original drummer, Sarajevo native, Darko Jelcic-Cunja.

A comeback album U tvojim očima was released in the spring of 1996 and it was a huge success. Since then, the band released four studio albums and one concert album selling more than 500 thousand copies worldwide which made them the best selling band of all times from former Yugoslavia, ahead of the most famous Yugoslav band ever, Bijelo dugme.

Constant touring took toll on Žera's health. His extensive drinking habits had been reported many times. In 1998 he was pulled over by the Croatian police on the Croatian-Slovenian border and later detained reportedly for not appearing at the Municipal Court in Zagreb where he was due for the trial in the court case in which he was accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. The case was later dismissed and Žera was given probation.

Žera lives in Zagreb, Croatia. He got married in 2008 and has two children.


External links[edit]