Vice Vukov was a Croatian singer and politician. In 1959, he achieved instant fame by winning the Opatija Music Festival in his singing debut. During the 1960s, he was one of the most popular singers in Yugoslavia, appearing at the Eurovision Song Contest 1963 and1965. In the aftermath of the Croatian Spring movement, he was branded a Croatian nationalist by Yugoslav authorities and had his apartment searched by the police during the 1972 wave of arrests of Croatian Spring leaders. Vukov was on an Australian tour at that time. His wife warned him not to return because he could be arrested too, so instead he went to live in France, returning to Yugoslavia in 1976. By that time, the authorities had lost interest in his case, but his singing career was effectively over; he was blacklisted, barred from performing publicly and all his records were pulled out of stores. In 1989 an album of his new songs, albeit without his name on the cover, reappeared in Croatian music stores, signalling the political change. Later that same year, Vukov made a public comeback with a series of 14 sold-out concerts. After the introduction of democracy to Croatia, Vice Vukov became a prominent supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Croatia. He ran several times for a seat in the Croatian Sabor, finally succeeding as an independent candidate on the SDP’s electoral list in 2003.
On 17 November 2005, while descending the stairs in the Parliament building, Vukov slipped and fell, sustaining a serious head injury. He was hospitalised and underwent surgery, but fell into a coma shortly afterwards. However, in November 2007, Vukov was reported as being conscious at times, aware of his surroundings, and his condition was described as stable.
Vice Vukov died, aged 72 the following year, on September 24, 2008