Tarmo Leinataam passed away on Monday at the age of 57 after unfortunately suffering with cancer.
Leinataam will be best known to Eurovision fans as one-third of the popular Estonian comedy troupe Kreisiraadio who represented Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008. The group failed to qualify from their semi-final with the multilingual “Leto Svet”, and the song often associated with being a joke entry may have possibly been a catalyst for major overhauls in the Estonian national selection system in 2009.
But of course, Leinataam was more than just a comedian involved in a single Eurovision entry – he was also a highly accomplished conductor who led the Estonian orchestras in Eurovision 1996 and 1997, with both entries finishing in the Top 10. Tarmo was also the conductor of the Estonian National Orchestra between 1991 and 1994 and a member of parliament in Estonia for a number of years.
He is survived by a wife and two children. The sad news comes just two weeks after another Eurovision legend passed away – Lynsey de Paul from Eurovision 1977.