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Zdenko Runjić (26 October 1942 – 27 October 2004) was a Croatian songwriter based in Split. In his long career, he established himself as one of the most prolific and most popular songwriters of the former Yugoslavia and Croatia.
Runjić was born 1942 in Slavonski Brod, Croatia. Many of his songs were inspired by the folk traditions of Dalmatia. The songs became classics and Runjić helped the careers of many notable Croatian musicians such as Oliver Dragojević, Doris Dragović and Meri Cetinić. He was especially successful at the prestigious Split Music Festival. He wrote almost 700 songs which sold several million copies in both albums and singles. More than 200 songs were written for Dragojević alone. He was also a successful businessman and music producer. He owned a record company called Skalinada which became one of the most prominent record companies of Croatia.
In 1993, following the dispute with the Split Music Festival organisers, he founded the rival music festival called Melodije Hrvatskog Jadrana (Melodies of the Croatian Adriatic) and it soon became the key music festival of the country. On 27 October 2004, Runjić died in Krapinske Toplice from a stroke while recovering from a heart attack.
- International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002. Page 610.
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