She gave up her Romanian citizenship, and an accident shattered her dreams as a ballerina: jazz career “saved” Aura Urziceanu

Aura Urziceanu is regarded as one of Romania’s greatest jazz voices, although certain reasons made the artist give up her nationality over the years.

Aura Urziceanu has a life story that can be described as extraordinary. A special stage presence, an absolutely sensational voice, but also a destiny with so many ups and downs that her story could serve as a movie script, if one wanted.

Aura Urziceanu in her youth – archive image

Aura Urziceanu dreamed of being a ballerina, but destiny had something else in store for her

Now a great jazz singer and one of the best voices in her field, Aura Urziceanu longed for a different path in life, but fate seemed to have something else in store for her.

As a child, she wanted to become a ballerina, but an accident ended her dream. Luck returned to her side when she discovered that she had another talent – music.

“I cried, but I got over it. Then I found myself singing,” Aura Urziceanu said at one point.

She was given the violin, but encountered problems, so soon her voice would be discovered by Cornel Chiriac.

“When he played me some of Ella Fitzgerald’s songs, I said: Oh, dear! She sings just like me!”, Aura Urziceanu added.

Later, she attended the Popular School of Art, in the class of Florica Ogășanu, about whom the artist claimed that “she learned from me, not I from her. (…) she simply had nothing to show me”.

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In 1985, she toured the USSR and later received offers to perform in Israel, Canada and Germany.

Aura Urziceanu

Aura Urziceanu, like a movie character

Unfortunately, although the fates seemed to be on her side, life was not always “all milk and honey” for Aura Urziceanu.

Immediately after the Chernobyl explosion, the artist became one of the indirect victims of the disaster, as her thyroid problems were revealed.

“In ’86, when the Chernobyl explosion happened, I was in Romania and my thyroid attacked. I didn’t have time to go and exercise to lose weight,” she said.

Eventually, she ended up marrying Ron Tully, at the age of 22. “It was magical meeting him. And out of our love came a baby boy right away,” the artist also recalled.

Although it was very hard, the pregnancy didn’t stop her from singing. “I was a piglet, my clothes wouldn’t fit. I had put on a lot of weight and you couldn’t find such big maternity clothes. And I bought myself, at one point, a big, steamy, gorgeous, pleated top-to-bottom, red negligee. When I put it on it looked like a dress. I matched some beads and earrings to it, that’s how I sang.”

Her son was unfortunately born with a heart condition, and the time this artist gave her in the context of her illness prevented her from having time for an eventual second child.

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Meanwhile, Aura Urziceanu was being “courted” by Quincy Jones, who reportedly wanted to offer her a contract.

In 2010, the great singer settled in Toronto, Canada, but in 2015, her husband died.

Their son, in turn, moved to the UK, where he began a successful career in electronic music and abruptly and unfairly severed ties with his mother.

However, the day before Ron Tully’s death, the artist decided to renounce her Romanian citizenship, declaring herself deeply disappointed with her home country.

“It’s a pity that in all these many, many years spent here in superlative style, I haven’t lost my sense of being Romanian. It would have suited me so well and would have spared me the disappointment, heartbreak, nerves and sickness of soul that I suffered and with which I left Romania. After five years of ugliness, nastiness and the way Romanians have mostly portrayed themselves to me, I don’t give myself the slightest loophole to understand them, admit it… on the contrary!

They are empty, without conscience, without soul, without education. They are 97-98% mean-spirited, envious, hateful, demented, and despicably cowardly! They are very dangerous, they make you able to hunt them down and shoot them! I do not recognize myself in any way by their faults … and they are full of it. That’s why I renounce Romanian citizenship!”, wrote Aura Urzicenau on her personal blog at the time.

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