Svetlana Ražnatović

Svetlana Ražnatović

Infobox musical artist
Name = Svetlana Ražnatović

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Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Svetlana Veličković
Alias = Ceca
Born = Birth date and age|1973|6|14|mf=y
Origin = Žitorađa, Serbia, then Yugoslavia
Genre = Turbo-folk
Occupation = singer
Years_active = 1988-present
Label =
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URL = []

Svetlana Ražnatović (née Veličković), also known as Ceca (pronounced Tsetsa) (Serbian Cyrillic: Светлана Ражнатовић - Цеца) was born on June 14, 1973, in Prokuplje, Yugoslavia (now Serbia). Ceca is a very popular and successful Serbian pop folk singer in the Balkan countries.

Her success has made her one of the highest paid artists in the Serbian music industry. Ceca began her career as a folk and turbo folk singer but her style has evolved to resemble the Serbian modern folk-pop-dance music, and is mostly a mixture of Eastern European, Latin and Oriental styles. Ceca is also popular among the Balkan population living in Western Europe.

Early career

Ceca began singing at the age of 9 in her hometown of Žitorađa, and entered showbusiness in 1988, at the age of 14, when she performed at the Ilidža Music Festival in Sarajevo. Her song "Cvetak zanovetak" ("Nagging flower") was very well received. Ceca was mentored by Dobrivoje Doca Ivanković, a composer and producer of folk music, who launched many careers in the 1970s and 1980s (most notably that of Šaban Šaulić).

Ceca's first two albums ("Cvetak zanovetak" 1988, "Ludo srce" 1989) were made in Serbian folk music style with some songs having a more modern production ("Lepotan", "Volim te")."To Miki to", her third album, was a major hit in the former Yugoslavia, with 350,000 copies sold. Ceca became the best-selling artist of the Belgrade TV's record label PGP-RTB and third best-selling female folk artist in Yugoslavia, after Lepa Brena and Dragana Mirković. She continued in the same direction with her next album, "Babaroga" (1991) which included a music video comprising of footage from her 18th birthday gala event ("Hej vršnjaci").


Ceca continued to work with Futa and Marina Tucaković and later with Tucaković's young protégé Aleksandar Milić Mili who she continues to work with today. Her next three albums, "Sta je to u tvojim venama/Kukavica" (1993),"Ja još spavam u tvojoj majici" (1994) and "Fatalna ljubav" (1995), which included one of her biggest hits to date, "Beograd" ("Belgrade"), broadened her popularity. With a more modern production of music, music videos, and an evolving style, her popularity has grown, as demonstrated by her 1996 album "Emotivna luda". "Maskarada",her 1997 album was a moderate success. The song "Nevaljala" from that album became the number one hit in Serbia for 17 consecutive weeks. Her recording schedule has since become erratic because of the birth of her two children, Anastasija and Veljko, and having to deal with family tragedy (see Controversies below). "Maskarada" (1997), "Ceca 2000" (1999), "Decenija" (2001), "Gore od ljubavi" (2004), "Idealno loša" (2006).

Ceca has refused many contracts offered by various European musical companies citing lack of time. She has sold over 10 million copies, mainly in Balkan countries. [citation needed]

Four books have been written about her life, popularity, imprisonment etc.: "Ceca - Idealno naša", "Ceca - Između ljubavi i mržnje", "Ceca - 121 dan" ("Ceca - 121 days (in prison)"), "Ceca - Ikona srpskog folka". []

Ceca's popularity over the last 16 years has earned her the nickname "Queen of the Balkans".


Ceca's 1997 hit song Nevaljala was the only song in the history of Serbian pop charts to rank number one for 17 consecutive weeks. This song was the cover song of her 1997 album Maskarada. The album sold close to 400,000 copies in the first two weeks of its release. The song was also used in the 2001 Romanian film "În fiecare zi Dumnezeu ne sărută pe gură".


Ceca's other song which came close to breaking the 17 week number one spot was the 2001 hit Bruka which was number one on the Yugoslavian pop charts for 15 consecutive weeks. This song was part of her album Decenija released in 2001. The popularity of the song surged because it was released in late November before the festive season and preceded many artists' winter releases. The song was a hit and regained the number one spot at all major national musical charts at home and abroad. Bruka maintained its number one streak for 15 consecutive weeks. In Croatia, the song was taken off the air after a 4-week run partly due to objections from several Croatian singers at that time who felt that a foreign song should not be competing for domestic charts. Nevertheless, Bruka continued to be a major hit among Croatian fans. In Bosnia, however, the song was well received. Bruka is considered by many Serbian music critics to be one of the biggest hits of 2001. The reason for its success, many music critics state, is partly because the song was an amalgamation of Eastern European folk traditions which plays itself out to dance beats.


Ceca prefers concerts to tours presumably to avoid fatigue . Some of the more important ones so far have been:
* 1993 - Tašmajdan Sports Centre; 12,000 attendees (notable as her first big triumph . She sang her major hit at the time "Kukavica" 7 times)
* 1994 - Pionir Hall 9,000 attendants
* 1995 - Pionir Hall 9,000 attendants
* June 2002 - Stadion Crvene Zvezde; one of the biggest concerts till date in Serbia, estimated 90,000 attendants
* 2002 - Borac stadium in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Hercegovina; 30,000 attendants
* 2005 - National football stadium in Skopje, Macedonia; 20,000 attendants
* January 13, 2006 - a free concert in Niš as a part of the Serbian Orthodox New Year's celebration; est. 80,000 attendants (people also came from Macedonia, Bulgaria, Montenegro)
* June 17, 2006 - Ušće, Belgrade; over 150,000 attendants on this spectacular concert
* September 14, 2006 - Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria; estimated 10,000 attendants
* October 4, 2006 - Jagodina ; 30,000 attendants
* January 13, 2007 - Serbian Orthodox New Year's celebration in Belgrade, a day-long event organized by DSS-NS coalition, with performers such as Riblja čorba, Negative, Eyesburn, Rambo Amadeus, and Ceca as the marquee star, performing from 10:40pm until 12.05am in front of an estimated crowd of 350,000. Among many other public figures, present in the audience were the Serbian PM Vojislav Koštunica, Capital Investment Minister Velimir Ilić, poet Matija Bećković, Sanda Rašković-Ivić.
* July 13, 2007 - Vrnjacka Banja ; estimated 80,000 attendants

Controversies and Criticism

In 1995 Ceca married Željko Ražnatović Arkan, leader of the paramilitary forces "Arkan's Tigers" and one of the most influential criminals in Belgrade in the 90's. His marriage to Ceca was broadcast on TV, made headlines in newspapers, and was portrayed by Serbian media as a "Serbian fairytale." Arkan was killed on January 15, 2000 in Belgrade, leaving Ceca a widow with two children. Despite having been shot in the head, he remained alive for a brief period of time but died in her arms in the back of the car that was taking them to the ER. After 18 months of mourning, she made her first public appearance in a TV interview. "One part of me died that day...I will always love him, and only him, I'm sure of that...," she said in the interview. Ceca never allows anyone to talk badly about Arkan in her presence.

Ceca's popularity in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia stirred up a lot of resentment. She has been verbally attacked by many Bosnian and Croatian public figures because of her involvement with Arkan and was often labeled a war criminal and četnik. She has said in public that she loves all of her fans, but that she will never perform in either Zagreb or Sarajevo.

On the newspaper Press,it was recently announced that Ceca is dating Filip Zivoinovic the son of Boba Zivoinovic, who is the husband of another Serbian popular singer Lepa Brena.Immediately after this,Ceca denied this in the press,and said that they are just a good friends. [cite web|url=|title=Dematovala vezu sa Filipom Ž. - otvara "Ceca music"|publisher="Balkanmedia" |accessdate=2008-05-22 |date=2008-04-19 |author]

Criminal charges

Ceca was arrested in March 2003, and detained for four months accused of helping the Zemun clan to assassinate Serbia's prime minister Zoran Đinđić and for illegal weapon possession. She was later cleared of all charges.

She was accused by Dejan Milenković Bagzi on trial for assassination of Zoran Đinđić that she was implicated in a plan to kidnap Željko Mitrović (owner of RTV Pink). As a result Ceca was banned from TV Pink [] . It has been recently confirmed that Ceca will not be banned from RTV Pink anymore. []

Other activities


At the age of 17, Ceca was cast in the role of Koštana, a beautiful gypsy singer and dancer, in Stojan Stojčić's directorial effort of "Nečista krv" ( Impure blood ), a movie based on the works of Serbian playwright and novelist Borisav Stanković. Even though she had acted alongside actors such as Rade Šerbedžija, Ljuba Tadić, she felt that her role was unimportant and therefore asked for her scenes to be removed because of "low quality." The troubled production took years to complete and received poor critical reception upon its release in 1996.


She inherited the football club "Obilić" from her deceased husband and became its president. She often appeared at matches in fur coats and imposed strict monetary punishments on players who performed poorly as Obilić, former champion of Yugoslavia, was sinking on the rankings table.

When Miljan Miljanić stepped down from his presidential post at the Football Association of Yugoslavia in September 2001, the press openly cheered Ceca's election for the post campaigning that they would have "the most beautiful president". One of the notable supporters to the idea of offering the post to Ceca was Velibor Vasović. The former Ajax captain stated that one of the pros of appointing her as the new president is the fact that at the time she was one of the few people who were investing money in Serbian football.

Instead the former Crvena Zvezda player Dragan Stojković Piksi was elected to the post.


Ceca was appointed the honorary president of the Party of Serbian Unity (SSJ) formed by her late husband, Željko Ražnatović (Arkan). She has not been politically active and claims to have only accepted the position in honor of her deceased husband. After clashing with the president of the party, Borislav Pelević, on many issues, Ceca withdrew herself from politics completely.

On the night of 17th March 2004, Ceca and Kristijan Golubović (close associate of Arkan) gathered demonstrators in front of the government building in Belgrade to speak about the situation in Kosovo and the burning of more than 300 Serbian Orthodox churches in Kosovo.


Ceca is the president of the "Third Child" humanitarian fund. Her organizations prime goal is to increase the birthrate in Serbia and to help families who already have three or more children. She has held several humanitarian concerts raising money for food, clothing, and sundries to benefit the Serbs in Kosovo, after the violent unrest in Kosovo in March, 2004. This charity organisation does not exist anymore.

Current Events

Ceca is since February 2008 on Cyprus, where she has a house. A new CD has yet to come.

Discography (studio albums)

* "Cvetak Zanovetak" (1988)
* "Ludo srce" (1989)
* "Pustite me da ga vidim" (1990)
* "Babaroga" (1991)
* "Šta je to u tvojim venama" (1993)
* "Ja još spavam u tvojoj majici" (1994)
* "Fatalna ljubav" (1995)
* "Emotivna luda" (1996)
* "Maskarada" (1997)
* "Ceca 2000" (1999)
* "Decenija" (2001)
* "Gore od ljubavi" (2004)
* "Idealno loša" (2006)

External links

* [ Ceca Raznatovic cd's and dvd's shop]
* [ Biggest Ceca Fan-Page]
* []
* [ Ceca Fan Site]
* [,3858,4828557-110648,00.html Two part interview] in the United
* [ FanForum Slovenia ]
* [ Site made for Ceca fans ]
* [ - Croatian fan site]

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