Estonian folk singer Kihnu Virve dies at 94

Kihnu Virve on a dedicated episode of ETV's
Kihnu Virve on a dedicated episode of ETV's "Tähelaev" in 2013. Source: Ülo Josing/ERR

Legendary Estonian folk singer, songwriter and Kihnu island native Kihnu Virve died on Saturday morning; she was 94 years old.

"Our very dear laulumemm departed this morning," Virve's grandchild wrote on social media on Saturday, announcing her death.

Virve-Elfriide Köster, nee Haavik, was born January 30, 1928 in Pärnu, the closest major city to the island of Kihnu.

She wrote hundreds of her songs during her lifetime, the most famous of which is "Merepidu." Kukerpillid, who launched "Merepidu" to nationwide fame in Estonia, included dozens of her songs in their repertoire.

Kihnu Virve released four albums over the years, and in 2009 was the bestselling female Estonian artist in Estonia; that same year, at age 81, she went skydiving over her native island.

She was bestowed the Pärnu County Coat of Arms in 2008 and the Order of the White Star, 5th Class in 2011.

In 2018, Kihnu Virve had a heart attack, but nevertheless continued to perform afterward.

Frequent performer, guest

In memory of the singer, ERR's Menu portal looked up a selection of photos and videos of Kihnu Virve in the ERR and ETV archives from over the years.

"Ringvaade" 2021

"Meri on, meri jääb. Kihnu Virve" 2018

"Tähelaev" 2013

"Ringvaade" 2019

"Ringvaade" 2019

"Pealtnägija" 2018


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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