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Tommy Seebach

Eurovision rock classic rock guitar oldies

Tommy Seebach (September 14, 1949-March 31, 2003), born Tommy Seebach Mortensen, was a popular Danish singer, composer, organist, pianist and producer. He is considered Denmark's pop king. He was married to Karen and they had three children: Nikolaj, Rasmus and Marie.

Tommy was born in Copenhagen. He started his musical career as an organist in his own group "The Colours" at 14 years of age, and in the years to follow he played in many pop and beat groups. He played piano with various orchestras and groups, sometimes going under the name of "Boogie-Woogie-Tommy". He broke through when in 1965 he became a member of the group Sir Henry And His Butlers, writing many of their most popular hits. In 1976 he also began performing solo, and with great success. His hit album "Tommygun" was released in 1977. At the same time he was in high demand as a producer at his record company EMI, and was involved in projects for among others Lecia & Lucienne.

He really hit his stride in 1979 when he won the Danish Melodi Grand Prix with Disco Tango (Danish lyrics) (English lyrics) which he coauthored with Keld Heick. It became a megahit both in Denmark and in other European countries. He represented Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest 1979 with the song, and ranked number 6.

He participated in the Danish Melodi Grand Prix again in 1980 with "Bye-Bye", and once again he won the competition in 1981, singing Krøller eller ej (Danish lyrics) (literally "Curls or not", but translated as "Straight or Curly Hair") with Debbie Cameron. It ranked number 11 at Eurovision Song Contest 1981. This song was also coauthored with Keld Heick.

He participated in the Danish Melodi Grand Prix a number of other times during the 1980s (1982, 1984, 1985 and 1987) without winning the competition. He had a big hit in 1989 with the duet Du skælder mig hele tiden ud (translated, "You're Always Yelling at Me"), sung with Annette Heick, Keld Heick's daughter. They followed up this success with two more singles and a Christmas album.

Top success was once again his in 1993 at the Danish Melodi Grand Prix when he performed Under stjernerne på himlen (Under the stars of the sky), another song coauthored with Keld Heick. However, the success was fleeting, and the tides turned for him at the Eurovision Song Contest 1993 when the song received only 9 points, giving him a ranking of 22 out of 25. The poor ranking caused Denmark to be disqualified from the following year's contest. Tommy was blamed for Denmark's defeat, and he suffered greatly as a result.

The 1990s were lean years for him as a performer and recording artist. He had a comeback of sorts on account of a disco-version of Krøller eller ej released in 1999, as well as the release of a compilation album. He toured the country's discotheques at that time and found cult interest in his old hits among a new, younger public.

Tommy lived life in the wild and fast lane as "King of the Grand Prix". He had great success and great failures. He had a problem with alcoholism. It took its toll on him and he died at the age of 53 from a heart attack at amusement park Bakken, where he was head of musical entertainment during the past several years.

Tommy competed eight times in the Danish Melodi Grand Prix. He and the musical group Hot Eyes were the only two acts ever to win the competition three times.

A tribute show to Tommy— The Tommy Seebach Show— tours Denmark and continues to bring his music to old and new fans.

Tommy Seebach has published photos.