Silvana Armenulic
Silvana Armenulić (18 May 1939 – 10 October 1976) was one of the most prominent commercial folk music (neo-folk) and traditional sevdalinka
Sevdalinka is a traditional genre of folk music from Bosnia and Herzegovina.Sevdalinka is popular across the ex-Yugoslavia region, especially in Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. The actual composers of many sevdalinkas are unknown....

 singers in former Yugoslavia
Former Yugoslavia
The former Yugoslavia is a term used to describe the present day states which succeeded the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia....

. Her life was cut short when she died in a road accident at the age of 37, but she continues to be well regarded in the region, and recognized for her unique singing style and voice.

Armenulić was born Zilha Bajraktarević in Doboj
Doboj is a city and a municipality in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, situated in the northern part of the Republika Srpska entity on the river Bosna. Doboj is the largest national railway junction; as such, the seats of the Republika Srpska Railways, and the Railways Corporation of Bosnia and...

 to a Bosniak
The Bosniaks or Bosniacs are a South Slavic ethnic group, living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a smaller minority also present in other lands of the Balkan Peninsula especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia...

 family with 10 children. She started singing at an early age, but her father, Mehmed Bajraktarević, a local cake shop
Cake shop
For the NYC venue Cake Shop, see Cake Shop NYCA cake shop is a retail business specialising in cakes. It is the English culture equivalent to a French pâtisserie....

 operator, was not supportive of her singing career. At the age of 16, she moved to Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

 where she lived with her aunt and sang in local kafana
Kafana , kafeana , kavana are terms used in the former Yugoslav countries for a distinct type of local bistro which primarily serves alcoholic beverages and coffee , and which sometimes also has a live band.The concept of a social gathering place for men to drink...

s. Eventually she moved to Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, the capital of SFR Yugoslavia, in order to further her singing career. There she adopted the stage name
Stage name
A stage name, also called a showbiz name or screen name, is a pseudonym used by performers and entertainers such as actors, wrestlers, comedians, and musicians.-Motivation to use a stage name:...

 Silvana after the Italian actress Silvana Mangano
Silvana Mangano
Silvana Mangano was an Italian actress.Raised in poverty during World War II, Mangano trained as a dancer and worked as a model before winning a "Miss Rome" beauty pageant in 1946...

. She married tennis player Radmilo Armenulić, with whom she had a daughter named Gordana (born 13 January 1964).

Silvana had a younger brother named Hajrudin Bajraktarevic who died about two weeks after being mauled by a dog. She also had 7 sisters, three of which were singers. Dina (born 1949), Mirsada (1951-1976) and Abida. After her brothers death, her father found solace in alcohol and solitude, neglecting the family.

Her career took off rapidly and she became one of the biggest commercial folk stars in SFR Yugoslavia. This led to numerous and well-publicized country-wide singing engagements. She also appeared in many popular Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

n TV sitcoms such as Ljubav na seoski način and folksy movies such as Građani sela Luga.

In 1969 she and Serbian
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

 singer Toma Zdravković
Toma Zdravkovic
Toma Zdravković was a famous Yugoslav folk singer from Serbia.Toma Zdravković was an outstanding figure on Serbian folk scene; a bohemian and a poet, he lived up to his sad songs. The songs, although having the form of Serbian folk music, had spirit of chansons...

 sang in the same group, and Zdravković, to express his gratitude to her for helping him out, wrote the song "Šta će mi život".

...We met a lot, in different towns of Yugoslavia, and in 1969, we sang in the same band. I was already a well known and requested composer. She was completely down. She was depressed all the time and wanted me to write her a song. But what? All of my songs were inspired by my sympathies and love-life, but we were good ol' friends. I had no inspiration. Until one day, I went drinking with my friends, we were drunk for 3 days in a row, and the fourth day I woke up at a hotel, went down to the lounge, ordered a cup of coffee and just like that, I was hungover and wrote "Šta će mi život". I recorded the song in the studio and wanted to use it for a festival coming up, but when she heard it, she wanted to have it. And what could I do? It was her song, inspired by her life, and her problems. I gave her the song and it was a bingo. I wish I had never written it. She died 7 years later, it was like the song came true...

The song became one of the biggest folk hits ever written in Yugoslavia and transformed Zdravković and Armenulić herself into superstars. But Armenulić's life ironically ended seven years later.

On 10 October 1976, at the age of 37, she died in a car accident near the town of Kolari, along with her pregnant sister Merima (Mirjana) Bajraktarević and violinist and Radio Belgrade
Radio Belgrade
Radio Belgrade is a state-owned and operated radio station in Belgrade, Serbia.The predecessor of Radio Beograd, Radio Beograd-Rakovica, started its program in 1924 and was a part of a state wireless telegraph station. Radio Beograd, AD started in March 1929...

 folk orchestra conductor Rade Jašarević.

External links

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