Sverre Kjelsberg was born on 18 October, 1946 in Tromsø, Norway. His career started as a rock musician in the 1960s. He became famous for being the lead singer of the band The Pussycats from Tromsø, and later he also sang in the bands Taboo and Clan.
In the 1970s, his music changed towards a more folk-inspired style, and his songs often had political connotations. One of the songs he wrote, Ellinors vise (music by Sverre Kjelsberg, lyrics by Klaus Hagerup), became a hymn of the labour movement, and in the 1990s it was chosen one of Norway's most loved songs.
His 1980 Eurovision Song Contest entry Samiid Ædnan, which he had written together with Ragnar Olsen, contained a strong message in favour of the native Sami people. He performed it together with Mattis Hætta. You can watch an excerpt of their performance below:
Sverre Kjelsberg's family has confirmed that he passed away this Saturday, the cause of death is yet unknown.
On behalf of the whole Eurovision community, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.