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Emotional Croatian pop diva who has attained the status of a national treasure. Like the other stars of her era, she is still remembered fondly elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia - Slovenia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro - where her career began in the mid-1980s.

Doris had been the lead singer of the group More (Sea) for several years before going solo in 1986 with her breakthrough hit, Željo moja. The soft but strong ballad won the national preselection to represent Yugoslavia at the Eurovision Song Contest that year, where she unaccountably finished 13th behind, among others, an Irish band called Luv Bug and a Dutch one by the name of Frizzle Sizzle.

Željo moja is still one of Doris' best-loved songs today, and heralded three or four years' worth of albums which rank among her most accomplished work. Typical are the ten on Budi se dan (The day awakes, 1989), which ratchet the melodrama dial up to 11: its opener, Ja noćas umirem (I'm dying tonight) can only be described as the four and a half minute long result of fusing anguished Balkan folk music with the collected works of A-Ha.

During the war in Croatia, Doris was one of many singers to wrap themselves in the flag for the duration, happening upon an unofficial national anthem in 1992 with Dajem ti srce, zemljo moja (My country, I give you my heart), its refrain entrusting Croatia into the care of God.

The chorus of her 1994 song Sedam mora, sedam gora (Seven seas, seven mountains) bears a strange resemblance to the hook of Deutschland Uber Alles. Released only three years after Germany had been the first country to recognise Croatian independence, that might not be such a silly idea.

By 1999, rapidly becoming the honorary mother of the nation, Doris had been signed by the prolific impresario Tonci Huljić, the man responsible for a significant proportion of the etno kitsch that filled Croatian airwaves during the presidency of Franjo Tudjman.

Her previous collaborator, the doyen of Croatian composers Zdenko Runjić, had provided her, in numbers such as Haljina bijela, haljina crna (White dress, black dress), with pop from which the kind of academic who can turn Madonna into their life's work - although probably nobody else - might even draw an allusion to the signalling arrangments of the legendary king Theseus.

The refrain of her first hit with Huljić, Marija Magdalena - to be found on her 1999 CD unimaginatively entitled Krajem vijeka (At the end of the century - ran, 'Marija Magdalena, ah ah ah ah ah ah ah.' And this from a lyricist, Huljić's wife, who used to write children's books.

Doris took Marija Magdalena to Eurovision too, although the journey was dogged with minor scandal from the outset: a rival, Ivana Banfić, claimed her song had been deliberately disqualified from the preselection by the state broadcaster HRT, and in particular an executive implicated in the Miss Croatia scandal of the previous year.

Less than a week before the contest took place, an official complaint was laid against the song by the Norwegian delegation, alleging that Huljić had broken Eurovision rules by adding synthesised vocals in the background. With only one backing vocalist on stage with Doris, and that a woman, it was probably tempting fate to expect her to convincingly mimic an entire male voice choir.

Doris nonetheless achieved a respectable fourth place in Jerusalem, thanks in no small part to her song's similarity to the 1998 winner by Dana International and her strategy of whipping off her toga during the middle eight to reveal a dress made of white bandages apparently inspired by Milla Jovovich's alien in The Fifth Element.

In 2001, Doris released Lice (Faces), an album of dance songs not a million miles away from what was then Cher's latest reinvention. More in keeping with her usual style, however, was 2002's Malo mi za sricu triba (I need a little to be happy), filled with the Dalmatian ballads that have made her name. One is encouraged to believe these are what wafts through Adriatic harbours on late summer afternoons. The fact that you might well only hear fishermen shouting at each other is neither here nor there.

The fans of Hajduk Split, one of Croatia's leading football clubs, have taken Doris to their hearts, earning her the title 'Queen of the Torcida', as they name themselves in honour of Brazilian supporters. Doris also has something of a gay following, if only because what diva hasn't; it's to be hoped that the conversations when her two fan bases encounter one another might result mutually beneficial.

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