Kvitka ‘Kasey’ Cisyk: 25 years without legendary voice of American-Ukrainian woman
March 29, 2023 marks 25 years since the legendary singer, daughter of immigrants from Lviv, Kvitka Cisyk, who cherished her love for Ukraine all her life, passed away in the US
Espreso TV informed about the anniversary.
Ukraine started to celebrate the American Ukrainian, the daughter of immigrants from Lviv, only once Ukraine regained its independence. The singer, whose repertoire included rifle songs and songs of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, was understandably banned in the USSR despite her worldwide fame. And despite her 2 Ukrainian-language albums "Kvitka" (1980) and "Two Colors" (1989), which cost her about USD 200,000 out of her own pocket and for which she hired the best musicians in New York to record. By the way, both were nominated for a Grammy Award in the contemporary folk category.
The owner of a rare coloratura soprano who could sing in a "white voice,” a unique style of folk singing, Kvitka Cisyk was known to every American during her lifetime. For decades, she voiced advertising jingles for such well-known companies as Coca-Cola, American Airlines, and McDonald's. For 16 years, until her death, she was the official voice of Ford Motor, for which the company gifted her its cars. By the way, the company once estimated that Kvirka’s voice had been listened to more than 22 billion times, which is several times more than the world's population.
Kasey (the singer's artistic pseudonym, made up of the combination of the first letters of her first and last names - Kvitka Cisyk), who had the opportunity to sing backup for such stars as Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, to collaborate with many famous performers, won an Oscar in 1978. Kasey’s song You Light Up My Life for the movie of the same name was awarded the highest award of the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the category of Best Music, Original Song. It also won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for a Motion Picture and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
Kvitka Cisyk died in 1988 just before her 45th birthday. She was killed by breast cancer, which she had been fighting for 7 years. Her mother had previously died of the disease, as did later her older sister Maria. During her lifetime, the singer visited Ukraine (a country she cherished all her life) only once - with her mother, without advertising her visit anywhere - in 1983.
The singer dreamed of a third CD with Ukrainian songs, but managed to record only the song "Cranes" with lyrics by Bohdan Lepkyi. The lines of the song "In a foreign land I'll die" became prophetic, despite the fact that Kvitka Cisyk was born and raised in the US...