Kirka during his last public performance in January 2007
|Birth name||Kirill Babitzin|
|Born||22 September 1950|
|Died||31 January 2007 (aged 56)|
Hard rock (1986–1987)
|Website||Kirka.com in English|
Kirill "Kirka" Babitzin (22 September 1950 – 31 January 2007) was one of the most commercially successful Finnish musicians. His career spanned from the late 1960s right up to his death in 2007.
Previously associated with Ilkka Lipsanen's The Islanders band, Kirka went onto record a wide array of rock and pop music. Some of his most famous songs include Hetki Lyö (Beat the Clock), Leijat (Kites) and Varrella virran (Down by the River). His 1988 album Surun Pyyhit Silmistäni (The Sadness in Your Eyes) went onto be one of the best sold records in Finnish history. He also represented Finland in the 1984 Eurovision Song Contest.
Kirill Babitzin was born in Helsinki in 1950 to a Russian family. His father, Leon Babitzin was from St. Petersburg and fled to Finland in the aftermath of the October Revolution. His mother, Elizaveta Babitzin (née Zarubina) was partially of German-Russian descent and was born in Karelia. He first got into music at the age of five when his grandmother gave him an accordion. He won an accordion competition at the age of ten.
His first band was The Creatures, which he joined in 1964 assuming stage name Kirka.
Kirka began attaining fame when he joined the band The Islanders in 1967. Originally led by Ilkka "Danny" Lipsanen, the band became hugely popular. Kirka also recorded with Blues Section. Kirka used his fame to launch into a solo career soon-after. Kirka cited his 1960's breakthrough Hetki lyö (orig. Beat The Clock composed by Gottehrer-Stroll, a 1968 Elfstone B side) with The Islanders as his greatest achievement. Despite his initial success in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Kirka suffered from money-troubles through the late 1970s.
Kirka represented Finland in Eurovision Song Contest 1984, finishing a strong ninth with the song Hengaillaan. Four years later, he got his greatest chart success with Surun pyyhit silmistäin, a melancholic pop-schlager. True to his rock'n'roll roots, however, he never fully appreciated this success, repeatedly
Babitzin was awarded the Emma award for best male singer twice, first in 1984 and then in 2000. He died suddenly on 31 January 2007 at his home of undisclosed acute illness. His widow Paula Nummela is a jewellery designer.
Kirka's brother was popular rock musician Sammy Babitzin, who was killed in a car crash in 1973. Sammy's signature hit Daada daada tells a story of high-speed automotive cruising. Sammy was killed in 1973 in a car accident.
Kirka Babitzin released 78 singles and almost 60 albums, including 15 collections. Kirka's album Surun pyyhit silmistäni (1988) became the biggest selling album in Finnish history; it has now been relegated to all-time third place.
- Kirka keikalla (1969)
- Kirka (1969)
- Saat kaiken (1971)
- Nykyaikaa (1972)
- Rautaa ja kettinkiä (1973)
- Kirkan parhaita (1974)
- Tiukka linja (1975)
- Babitzinit konsertissa (1975)
- Lauantaiyö (1976)
- Kaksi puolta (1977)
- Anna & Kirka (1978)
- Kirkan parhaat (1979)
- Kirka (1981)
- Täytyy uskaltaa (1983)
- Hengaillaan (gold, 1984)
- Älä sano ei (1985)
- Isot hitit (1985)
- R.O.C.K. (gold, 1986)
- The Spell (gold, 1987)
- Surun pyyhit silmistäni (quadruple platinum, 1988)
- Anna käsi (double platinum, 1989)
- Iskelmäkansio (1989)
- Parhaat, uudet versiot (1990)
- Ota lähellesi (double platinum, 1990)
- Kasvot peilissä (platinum, 1991)
- Babitzin (1991)
- Pyydä vain (gold, 1992)
- Kirka (gold, 1994)
- Sadness in your Eyes (1995)
- Tie huomiseen (gold, 1996)
- Hetki lyö: 1967–1997 (platinum, 1997)
- Mestarit Areenalla (triple platinum, 1999)
- Suuri hetki (2000)
- Sinut siinä nään (2002)
- Elämääni eksynyt (2005)
- 40 unohtumatonta laulua (2006)
- The Best of Kirka (2007)
- Official Website
- Kirka Babitzin at Populaarimusiikin museo (in Finnish)
- The list of all-time top records by sold units in Finland (in Finnish)
| Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest
with Eläköön elämä