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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Balkan pop star dies in car crash
Tose Proeski
Proeski's fame transcended ethnic divisions in the Balkans
Macedonian pop star Tose Proeski, a hugely popular singer in the Balkans, has died in a car crash in Croatia.

Proeski sang for Macedonia in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest and won many awards in former Yugoslavia.

Police said the 26-year-old's car was in a collision with a lorry on a motorway near the eastern Croatian town of Nova Gradiska.

In the Macedonian capital Skopje people wept in the streets. A day of national mourning will be held on Wednesday.

Local radio stations started playing Proeski's songs back-to-back.

Tose Proeski's smashed car
When the car crashed Proeski was asleep in the passenger seat
"We all have been blessed with such a great singer and with his immense soul filled with love," Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski said.

"Macedonia and the Balkans lost an angel," said the head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Stefan.

Two other people in Proeski's car were injured.

Proeski started his career aged 15, releasing his first album at 18.

I'm in shock. Macedonia has lost its greatest cultural ambassador
Vojo Mihajloski, Tetovo, Macedonia

He had several number one hits in four former Yugoslav republics - Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia.

Among Proeski's hits were Cija Si (Whose Are You?) and Ako me poglednes vo oci (If You Look Me In The Eyes).

He sang both in Macedonian and in Serbian and was seen as a bridge between people in a region often divided by ethnic hatreds, correspondents say.

Images of Tose Proeski and his music

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