From Zack: At ESC UNITED, we want to put the focus back on the totality of the entries.  That means we want to honor everyone involved, particularly the composers.  After asking our readers for their thoughts on the composers that we should retrospectively cover, we got some great feedback and will be featuring some of them this week.  Our next featured composer is Zeljko Joksimovic, Eurovision extraordinaire!


Zeljko Joksimovic was already one of the most popular Balkan artists, so it is no surprise that his fanbase grew exponentially after his participation in Eurovision as singer, composer, and even host!  He is also quite the Renaissance Man, as he plays over 12 musical instruments and speaks Serbian, Greek, English, Russian, Polish, and French.

His Eurovision career began when he won the right to be the first representative of Serbia and Montenegro in 2004.  “Lane Moje” was written with lyricist Leontina Vukomanovic.  He won the semi-final but had to settle for 2nd in the final behind Ruslana.  However he did win the Marcel Bezençon Press Award.

In 2006, he once again wrote the music for a Eurovision entry, this time for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Hari Mata Hari.  “Leija” gave Bosnia and Herzegovina their best result ever at 3rd Place. And Zeljko was once again awarded a Marcel Bezençon Award, for Composing.  This award is highly touted as it is voted upon by a jury of the participating composers.

When Serbia won the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, it was no surprise when Zeljko was announced as co-host for the 2008 edition.  What made the 2008 edition more remarkable was that not only did Zeljko host it, but he was also once again a composer for the Serbian entry, “Oro,” by Jelena Tomasevic.  “Oro” ended up finishing a respectable 6th place.

Zeljko made his most recent Eurovision appearance at last year’s edition in Baku.  “Nije ljubav stvar” was once again composed by Zeljko , with lyrics by Marina Tucakovic and Milos Roganovic.  Once again, it was shown that anything Zeljko touches turns to gold as he gave Serbia another respectable placing at 3rd.

When will we see another song written by Zeljko?  Another he is 4/4 for Top 10 finishes and 3/4 for Top 5 finishes, he has yet to claim Eurovision victory.  Nevertheless, it certain that we have not seen the last of Zeljko.

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  1. CC92

    February 20, 2013 at 00:49

    My ranking of his entries in Eurovision would be

    1st Lane moje (masterpiece)
    2nd Nije ljubav stvar (very good)
    3rd Leila (good)
    4th Oro (decent, albeit a bit too pathetic for my taste)

  2. Matt

    February 19, 2013 at 06:24

    I’m a huge Zeljko fan and sure hope he’s going to write more ESC songs in the future. I’m quite familiar with his non Eurovision work as well and it’s quite awesome.

  3. Roy van der Merwe

    February 19, 2013 at 06:11

    I have to admit that I donot know a single Zeljko song besides his 4 euro compositions. I shoulkd have bought a CD of him in 2008 when Eurovisionw as in Belgrade.

  4. Roy van der Merwe

    February 19, 2013 at 06:10

    Oro has been pitched to certain artists as well and maybe soon we can announce that it too will be done in Afrikaans

  5. Roy van der Merwe

    February 19, 2013 at 06:09

    Three of his entries have been covered in South Africa.
    Jan de BRuin covered Leija in Afrikaans
    Luciano Bruno covered Lane Mojein Afrikaans

    And soon Zeljko’s 2012 song will be in Afrikaans by Pieter Kotze

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