Gallery: Dave Benton gives final Christmas concert in Tallinn church

Singer Dave Benton hosted his last traditional Christmas concert Sunday evening, ERR's Menu portal reports.

Benton, the Estonian entry, and eventual winner, together with Tanel Padar, of the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest, said: "I never organized the concerts to make money, but to give people a Christmas feeling."

The concert took place at the Kaarli Kirik in central Tallinn, with choir director Aarne Saluveer, the ETV girls' choir, and Benton's own daughters, Sissi Nylia Benita and Lisa Jennyfer Benita, joining him.

Benton, 69, originally from Aruba, reminisced that he set up his production company together with Estonian partners soon after moving to Estonia in the late 1990s.

He said: "I recall my first concert, near Viljandi, and I liked the experience so much, that a year later, I organized my first Christmas concert and the church was packed full of people."

"In 2000, I did my next concert, and so it went," Benton added.

2020 is, however, the final year of the concerts in their current form, the singer added.

"After 20 years of work, I am grateful to all the performers, choirs and churches who played an important role in my concerts, but now I am stopping organizing concerts, as 20 years is a long time," he said.

The bulk of the organizational work has been Benton's own, ERR reports, which has brought its own stresses despite the support of the public and sponsors.

"I have done my job and I am very grateful to the Estonian people in particular for their support," he said.

Benton added that it is not the end of his performing career, which has included work with such international stars as the Drifters, Tom Jones and Billy Ocean, and that he would be delighted to perform at next Christmas' concert if invited.

"Organizing concerts is never easy, but that doesn't mean I'm ending my career," he said.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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