Culture

Celebrated pop singer János Koós dies aged 81

3 weeks ago

Celebrated Hungarian entertainer János Koós died at the age of 81 in Budapest, news agency MTI reports – what few know, is that he hails from Transylvania.

Comparing one pop singer to another is a thankless and perhaps futile task, but if we had to name an internationally known equivalent, János Koós – on account of his popularity and artistic longevity – was the Hungarian equivalent of Paul Anka.

Born János Kupsa in the Romanian capital of Bucharest in 1937 in a Transylvanian family hailing from the village of Gyergyószárhegy/Lăzarea, his family moved to Hungary in 1941. He graduated from the Budapest Conservatory as an oboe player in 1957 and spent three years as an orchestra member until his singing prowess was discovered in an 1960 at a musical talent show and recorded his first major hit in 1961.

He was an all-around entertainer: besides his career as a singer he also acted in a cabaret, as a parodist and even tried his hand at conducting a symphonic orchestra. His hobbies were tennis and sailing, winning six national titles as part of a class 40 sailboat team.

Title image: János Koós at a 2009 concert. (MTI/János Mészáros)