Pierre Kartner, a Dutch musician better known as Father Abraham, has died aged 87.
The musician, singer-songwriter and record producer had sold around 17 million copies of his songs for The Smurfs.
Kartner had worked on the beloved cartoon series from 1977 to 2005, with the theme song Au Pays Des Schtroumpfs, also known as Chanson Schtroumpf, becoming a worldwide hit.
Also a successful songwriter and producer, Kartner wrote over 1,600 songs throughout his career, earning him 127 gold records.
Born in the Netherlands, Kartner’s singing career began at the age of eight when he won a local festival.
He was part of the Corry & de Rekels band, selling over a million records in the 1960s.
Kartner created his Father Abraham alter-ego in 1971 after writing a Dutch carnival song titled Father Abraham Had Seven Sons.
He had initially sported a fake beard for the character, but later developed a real one and his bowler hat became his trademark look.
Kartner was asked to do a promotional song about the Smurfs in 1977, but only 1,000 copies of the single were initially pressed, all of which sold out in one day at a Schlager festival.
Following a crackdown, 400,000 copies of the song were quickly sold, followed by a full Smurfs album which sold 500,000 copies and went to number one in 16 countries.
In addition to the Smurfs theme song, Kartner also wrote the opening and closing credits music for the Japanese cartoon adaptation of the 1990 Moomin television series.
Kartner leaves behind his wife Annie and his son Walter, according to information from omroepbrabant.nl.
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