Roma singer Monika Bagárová on November 19, 2021 at the award ceremony for popular music Český slavík 21 [Czech Nightingale 21]. (PHOTO: TV Nova)
The annual poll of popular music in the Czech Republic called the “Czech Nightingale” (eský slavík) was relaunched after a hiatus of several years and featured several Roma artists. Monika Bagárová placed 12th in the female singer category and was the Roma performer with the most votes in the national poll.
The next most popular Roma performer in the survey was Jan Bendig, who placed 14th overall in the category of male singers. Jan Cina was the Roma interpreter who came third after that.
Roma artists dominated at the awards ceremony this year. The lineup included Bagárová, Patrik Bartko (guitarist of Marek Ztracený), Bendig, Zdeněk Godla, rapper Rytmus and dance group Salut Roma.
Singer Ewa Farna won the Czech Nightingale award for best female singer. The winner for the male singer was Marek Ztracený, who was also the big winner this year according to the number of public appreciation votes cast, receiving 48,048 in total.
In the group category, the winner was Mirai. It was the first time that one of these artists won the national survey.
Ztracený also won the award for the favorite song of listeners of the station Rádio Impuls for its composition “Moje milá(My dear). The Audience Appreciation Awards were presented to the winners of this re-launched version of the Czech Nightingale Music Poll by its organizers at a gala evening at the Karlín Music Theater (Hudební divadlo Karlín) in Prague.
Bagárová’s 9,444 votes took her to 12th place among female singers, significantly improving her ranking from the 2017 results, the last time the poll was held, when she moved up to 40th place . She also used her time on stage to clearly express her opinion on rapper Martin Pohl, who calls himself Řezník (the butcher).
Pohl won in the Hip Hop and Rap category, and in his acceptance speech he attacked the entire investigation as well as Bagárová herself. His “works” fall into the genre of horror and are full of hatred, insults, racism and violence.
“Czech pop music has been at its lowest for years, it does not follow trends abroad, every time I turn on the car stereo I sometimes get physically ill,” he told the audience. The rapper is known to wear a black and white mask of a skull and also wore it on stage when he received his award.
Bagárová, who was one of the award presenters, replied to him before announcing the winner of the Silver Nightingale for Male Singer: “In my opinion, you are a corrupt and rotten person who hides behind a mask and n doesn’t have the courage to show his face. I’m not surprised, we don’t want to know what you look like. My colleagues, you are talented people, I appreciate you! ”
Another leap forward in the poll was made by Roma singer Jan Bendig, who finished in 14th place with 7,411 votes; in the 2017 version of the survey he came 23rd and in 2016 he came 66th. Bendig also performed twice during the ceremony.
His first appearance was with Captain Dem, the dance group Salut Roma and Zdeněk Godla, singing the song “Czardas”. By the end of the evening, Bendig was one of the performers singing Karel Gott’s songs in tribute to the late performer.
The gala evening was hosted by actors Aleš Háma and Ondřej Sokol. This year’s vote reached more than 216,000 spectators, the highest number since the poll began.
The relaunch of the Czech Nightingale audience survey is the work of entrepreneur and mathematician Karel Janeček. In a speech at the award ceremony, Janeček criticized the Czech government’s measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said had a fundamentally negative impact on cultural life and led to divisions in the society.