Walk of Fame Finland in Tampere to receive five new stars
Finland’s first international Walk of Fame for music, located in Tampere, will receive five new star plates on 23 September 2022, when the names of Jaakko Kuusisto, Hanoi Rocks, Erja Lyytinen, Heikki Salo and Marion Rung are immortalised in the stars.
The first international Walk of Fame in Finland was opened in Tampere in the autumn of 2019. New stars are added every year based on suggestions received from the public.
Conductor, composer and violinist Jaakko Kuusisto’s wide-ranging career in music began as a violinist. He was one of the most diligent Finnish recording instrumentalists. Kuusisto’s composition production includes approximately 40 opuses: chamber and vocal music, orchestral works and concertos, film music and operas. Kuusisto also made a significant career as a conductor, for example, as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, starting from the autumn of 2018. Kuusisto’s work also included artistic planning tasks at various festivals; the most recent was the role of the Artistic Director of the Oulu Music Festival in 2013–2021. He also worked extensively as a cultural policy expert and politician.
In the 1980s, the rock band Hanoi Rocks was the first band in Finland to make an international breakthrough. It served as a musical role model for numerous international and Finnish bands and artists. The band is still popular in the United States, Sweden, Japan and the UK. In addition, Hanoi Rocks was one of the first rock bands to tour Asia. It was the first Western rock band to play in Delhi and the first international band in Japan that attracted widespread public attention. The members of Hanoi Rocks have also created important solo careers.
Blues guitarist, singer-songwriter Erja Lyytinen was voted the best blues guitarist in the world at the 2017 European Blues Awards. She has also made a name for herself in numerous other international votes on the best guitarists in the world. She has performed with several top international artists, including Joe Bonamas, Sonny Landreth, Jennifer Batten and Carlos Santana, and played as the warm-up act for Robert Plant and Tom Jones.
Heikki Salo, a Tampere-based musician, is a pioneer in Finnish songwriting; he not only writes music himself, but also trains others to take this know-how forward. He is known as the songwriter and leader of the Miljoonasade band, but his lyrics are heard in songs by many artists, such as Yö, Popeda, Maarit, Muska, Pyhimys and Rajaton. In addition, he has also created music for several musicals. Salo has also influenced children’s music, and he is known, for example, from Herra Heinämäki’s Lato orchestra.
Finnish singer Marion Rung is especially remembered for her successful Eurovision Song Contest performances. In 1973, she represented Finland with the song “Tom tom tom”, ranked sixth, which was Finland’s best place in the Eurovision Song Contest for decades. Even before this, in 1962, Marion represented Finland with the song “Tipitii” and ranked seventh. In addition, Marion Rung has won the Sopot International Song Festival twice. Marion Rung has also gained popularity outside Finland with other songs, such as “El Bimbo”, which has risen to playlists in Germany, for example. From 1961 to 2015, Marion recorded 396 songs. In addition, Marion Rung is remembered for her Leidit Lavalla tour in the 2000s.
Every year, 3–8 new star winners are announced. Based on suggestions from the public, a jury of creative industry professionals, the board of Music x Media Finland, whittle down the proposals and the Education and Culture Committee of Tampere make the final decisions. Tähtikatu has been implemented by the City of Tampere, Tampere Hall Ltd, the professional creative-industry event Music x Media and Bauer Media.
According to Matti Helimo, Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Education and Culture Committee, all new recipients of the stars were selected from among proposals received from the public and they represent a wide variety of genres in the music industry.