Legendary Icelandic rocker Rúnar Júlíusson passed away on Thursday night. Júlíusson, 63, was performing in his home town of Keflavík and reaching for his guitar when he suffered a heart attack. He was taken to hospital but could not be saved.
Júlíusson is one of Iceland’s most beloved musicians. He launched his career with the band Hljómar in 1963, which became an instant nationwide success, and has since been involved with music, Morgunbladid reports.
After Hljómar broke up in 1969, Júlíusson participated in the foundation of Trúbrot and later Hljómar made a comeback. Júlíusson has also played with a number of other bands, including rock duo GCD with Bubbi Morthens.
Only a few days ago, Júlíusson released a greatest-hits album in three parts, featuring songs from 1966 up to today.
In an interview with Morgunbladid on November 29, 2008, Júlíusson explained that he had decided to release the album because he felt it was time to look back, although he was not about to stop writing new music.
In 1976, Júlíusson and his wife, María Baldursdóttir, founded the record label Geimsteinn—Iceland’s oldest record label. Since then Geimsteinn has released close to 300 albums and is still operating.
Fréttabladid reported that the concert on Thursday was in fact Geimsteinn’s annual publishing concert.