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Czech singer and painter Karel Gott was born on July 14, 1939, in Pilson, Czechoslovakia, but has made his home in Prague since he was six years old. Fascinated by jazz, he first began singing in public in 1958, and in 1960 began studying opera and voice at Prague Conservatory. He released his first single, a duet with Vlasta Pruchova, on Supraphon Records in 1962. A year later his first solo single appeared, a Czech version of Henry Mancini's "Moon River," and Gott subsequently ended his official studies at the conservatory, quickly building an impressive career as a singer and composer. In 1967 he signed with Polydor/Deutsche Grammophon and has remained with the label ever since, releasing an astounding 125 albums and some 72 singles for the imprint between 1967 and 2000 alone. In the 1990s Gott began turning his attention to painting, mounting his first exhibition in 1992. ~ Steve Leggett