eri Cetinić was born June 15 1953 in Split, Croatia. Her family background is from Blato on the island of Korčula, where her parents were born, moving later to Split at the beginning of the 1950s, when Meri was born. Growing up in a humble albeit harmonic family atmosphere, alongside a father who was an electrician, mother housekeeper and two older brothers – Ante and Boris – she began to show signs of exceptional musical talent, singing in particular, at a very early age. As a child she began to perform in public, and during elementary school took all the lead roles in school performances.Meri completed her secondary school education at the Music High School and graduated from the Teacher’s Academy in Split with a major in Music.
Her brother Ante, 5 years older than Meri, proved to be an influential and respected musician in Split. All the greatest musical talents in Split at the time would get together in their apartment, and Meri, still a child, would stand aside absorbing them all.
At an early age she began to listen to Black American musicians, loving both Blues and Gospel music. At 14 she won 1st place with the song “Warm and Tender Love” by Percy Sledge, at the “Raspjevanom proljeću” (Springtime) Festival in Split. At 15 she became a member of the CHE band as an organist. Meri, at that time, played the first Hammond organ in the city. When she was 17 she stopped with CHE and began to sing in the group Delfini (Dolphins) as a solo vocal singer, touring for the first time across the former USSR. Her repertoire consisted mainly of songs by Janis Joplin, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and similar groups and singers.
Soon after she began to sing with the Delfini she broke with the group in order to enroll into the Teacher’s Academy in Split, and studied voice with Prof. Branka Ristić. At the Academy she meets Slobodan M. Kovačević with whom she forms the group More (The Sea), wherein Meri plays piano and is the solo vocalist. Alongside S. M. Kovačević, Meri becomes a composer and arranges music for the band. They release several singles and the album “More” which made great success, as did its cover song “More”. Furthermore, at the “Splitski festival”, (Split Festival) the group achieves two more successes with the hit songs “Gdje god da pođeš” (Wherever You May Go) and “Samo simpatija” (Just a Sweetheart). After several successful and flourishing years with More, Meri begins here own solo musical career.
Her main partner was her brother Ante, who at the time was already living in the Netherlands, and with his assistance she recorded a number of albums:
q “Meri” (1979), recorded in Zagreb with leading studio musicians and the “Zagreb Soloists”
q “Ja sam žena” (I’m a Woman) (1980), recorded in Arnhem, Netherlands, is Meri’s first complete author’s work. A number of Dutch musicians play a part in the recording of the album, which went diamond and as such became the first diamond album in Croatian pop music.
q “U prolazu” (In Passing) (1981), Arnhem
q “As” (Ace) (1982), Arnhem
q “Prašina s puta” (Dust on the Road) (1983), Arnhem
Meri composed her own songs on all of these albums, with lyrics by Ivica Flesch, Jakša Fiamengo, Krsto Juras and Momčilo Popadić. Meri sang all the backup vocals and played the piano, while the entire production and arrangement of the music, and all other instruments were played by her brother Ante Cetinić.
Parallel to this author’s album, in cooperation with the composer Zdenko Runjić, Meri performs mainly at recurring Split Festivals, and year after year wins with songs such as “Lastavica” (Swallow), “Četiri stađuna” (Four Seasons), “U prolazu” (In Passing), and later with songs “Konoba” (Tavern) (S. M. Kovačević – Šunjić), “Zemlja dide mog” (My Homeland) (V. Barčot – I. Cetinić), and others.
In the meantime she is the winner of some distinguished acknowledgments and awards:
Declared as the female singer of the year 1981 and 1982 of ex-Yugoslavia, the winner of ''Zlatna ptica'' (Golden bird) for eminent success in discography in the year of 1983 as well as of the 1988 Music award.
On the ''Split 1989'' festival she performs her own song ''Dome moj'' and wins 3. award. The same song had gotten a foreign version which was recorded in Belgium, 1990, under a title ''Veel Te Mooi'' performed by Sanne en Erik van Neygen. This version became a big hit in Belgium.
1 “Meri VI”
2 “Zlatni snovi” (Golden Dreams) in cooperation with Z. Runjić – M. Došen
3 “Potraži me” (Look for Me) (1988) in cooperation with Ivo Lesić
4 “Zašto te volim” (1992) (Why do I Love You?) in cooperation with Remi Kazinotti
After her move to Zagreb in 1996, Meri records another complete author’s album entitled “Putovanja” (Journeys) (1998). She records most of it in Zagreb (a small part of the album is recorded in Split) with studio musicians from the popular group Song Killers. Meri herself arranged all the songs and co-produced the album with Ante Pecotić and Joško Banov. It is on this album that Ivana, Meri’s daughter, makes her debut performance, and the two of them work together.
Her most recent album “Malo mora na mom dlanu” (A Bit of Sea in the Palm of My Hand), a live concert recording from the National Theatre in Split, Meri works together with her long-standing friends (Banov, Brodarić, Siriščević…), and singing with her as her guests and friends are Oliver, Kondža, Tedi, klapa Kumpanja and other klape. The album received the Porin award for best pop album in 2002.
Other than studio recordings and festivals, Meri has been touring across Croatia and performing at concerts.She often visits the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries.
PORIN (award for best pop album in 2002)
13. “Tiramola” – (with jazz group Black Coffee)
14. “Virno srce” – (Faithful heart) 2009
4. 4. “Najljepše ljubavne pjesme MERI CETINIĆ” – (The love colection) 2011