Czech pop music singer Karel Gott dies at 80

FILE - This Feb.3, 2010 file photo shows most popular Czech pop singer Karel Gott during a film premiere in Berlin, Germany. Gott died at 80 on Tuesday, October 1, before midnight at home in his family circle, his spokeswoman Aneta Stolzova said Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Jens Kalaene/dpa via AP)

The most popular Czech pop music singer Karel Gott who also became a star behind the Iron Curtain has died

PRAGUE — Czech pop singer Karel Gott, who became a star behind the Iron Curtain, has died. He was 80.

Gott died late Tuesday at his home after battling a long illness, his wife Ivana said in a statement. Gott recently announced he had acute leukemia.

Gott released some 300 albums starting in the 1960s and sold tens of millions of copies in his country, the Soviet Union and elsewhere in the Communist world.

But he was also a rare example of a pop singer from eastern Europe whose music became popular in some Western European countries, especially in West Germany.

Czech President Milos Zeman said Wednesday his death is sad news for the entire country.

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