#OBITUARY: Vesa-Matti Loiri from Finland
Finnish actor, comedian and musician Vesa-Matti Loiri has passed away aged 77. In Eurovision circles, he was most famous for performing in the 25th Eurovision Song Contest in The Hague with the song Huilumies.
Vesa-Matti, sometimes known as just Matti, was born in Helsinki in 1945 and started in entertainment in 1962 as an actor. He was best remembered for his comedy work, although he did serious acting too. Many of his domestic film roles are ranked amongst the highest-grossing in Finland of all time.
His musical career yielded some 30 albums, and made him one of the biggest-selling singers in the Finnish music scene. As we know, he easily won the Finnish national final in 1980 with the song Huilumies (Flute man), giving him the ticket to The Hague. It was written by Aarni Raninen and Vexi Salmi. Things didn’t go that well, with him scoring 6 points and finishing in 19th place. He has the dubious distinction of being the only person to finish a contest behind a Moroccan song.
Here’s that performance from 1980.
Vesa-Matti was also known for his interests in sport. He was the chairman of the National Billiards Association. He had also dabbled in sports such as football, hockey, handball and water polo.
Vesa-Matti is survived by his third wife and a number of his children.
Eurovision Ireland offers its condolences to Vesa-Matti’s family at this time.
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland