We have received the very sad news that Sanja Ilić, founder of the group Balkanika, has passed away in Belgrade due to complications caused by COVID-19. He died at the age of 69.
Aleksandar “Sanja” Ilić represented Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song ”Nova Deca” together with the band Balkanika that he founded in 1998.
Ilić was born in Belgrade and began his musical career at age 12, where he composed a song for the Serbian singer Dragan Laković. He continued his music career in the 1970s and performed in various bands such as Vragolani and San.
The musician later composed the music for the Red Star Belgrade football team anthem. In 1982, he composed the song “Halo, Halo” which represented Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1982, performed by Aska. He later composed the song “Princeza“, which attempted to represent Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1984.
You can listen to Ilić & Balkanikas Eurovision entry ”Nova Deca” in the video below:
We send our deepest condolences to Sanja’s family and friends, our thoughts are with them in these difficult times.