Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Kora: Today she would be 73 years old. We remember the artist's life

A cult figure of the Polish music scene, i.e Bark. She conquered all of Poland together with her team Maanamwhose hits are sung by older and younger generations. “Divine Buenos”Whether “Gray Mirages” they continue to be heard in performances by Polish artists who want to commemorate the singer.

Throughout her life, she created music, appeared in films, created Madonnas and wrote poems. Kora died 6 years ago, now she would be celebrating her 73rd birthday. Today we remember the artist's life.

Olga Sipowicz (formerly Jackowska, née Ostrowska) was born on June 8, 1951 in Kraków. She was the fifth and youngest child of Marcin Ostrowski and his second wife Emilia. Things weren't going well at home.

At the age of 4, together with her sister Anna she was sent to an orphanage in Jordanów due to parents' poverty and mother's illness. They were separated on site. Her stay in this place became a traumatic experience for her.

As a child, Kora was sexually molested by a priest, about which she recorded a controversial album “Peekaboo” after the breakup of Maanam. She was lured to his house under the pretext of fruit. At the age of 10, she went to her aunt's apartment in Jabłonów Pomorski. There she experienced another horror.

“My uncle's seriously ill, psychopathic, sexually altered wife tortured me for a year, which caused a complete gap in my memory,” she confessed in the book “Kora, Kora. And the planets are going crazy.”

Due to all the difficult experiences and traumas, Kora tried to take her own life three times. Only at the last attempt did she understand that she wanted to live.

Even before she began her musical career, Kora started a relationship with… Ryszard Terlecki. After 2007, he became an MP from Law and Justice, but in the 1960s he was a hippie from Krakow and was nicknamed “Pies”. They met during a student strike when the singer was in high school. Terlecki fondly remembers the time spent with Kora.

“One of my friends brought two friends. One of them was Kora. Charismatic! Moreover, she understood everything that was happening around her, even though she was only in high school. I guess that brought us closer. I was 19, Kora was 17. She was an important woman in my life, although not the first one. But definitely the first one I was involved with in my hippie days. The bark was extraordinary,” says Terlecki in the biography of the star “Sun Without End”.

The artist admitted that she was head over heels in love with him. They spent time in clubs in the evenings, and spent the summer of 1969 as hitchhikers. Then Terlecki introduced her to the world of drugs. It quickly turned out that the relationship was toxic and had a negative impact on her. She felt manipulated.

Marek Jackowski she met in Piwnica pod Baranami, when he played with the band Vox Gentis. They got married in 1971and the ceremony was attended by, among others, Ewa Demarczyk and Marek Grechuta. A year later, their son Mateusz was born. They lived modestly, sometimes poor. Jackowski tried to make money from music by playing in a pub, and Kora made macrame. Finally, they decided to move to Warsaw. There she met Kamil Sipowicz.

Jackowski founded Maanam in 1975. Shortly afterwards, Kora joined him, and in the meantime she gave birth to her second son, Szymon. Despite the group's success, after 13 years the marriage began to come to an end. The main reasons turned out to be the husband's alcoholism, working together and… betrayal. Because while in a relationship with Marek, Kora met Kamil Sipowicz, who ten years after Simon's birth, he turned out to be his father.

Kamil Sipowicz became Kora's love for the rest of her life. In the mid-1970s, they lived in the same building, only on different floors. They met in an elevator and for both lovers it was love at first sight. They finally got together in 1989. They got married in 2013 and lived together in Roztocze.

Kora took her first steps in music by singing choirs in the band Osjan z Małgorzata Ostaszewska. Marek Jackowski, who left the project to found Maanam, also played in it. It was there that the singer made her official debut in 1976.

They gained enormous popularity four years later when they performed at the 18th National Polish Song Festival in Opole. They managed to win the “Premieres” competition “Divine Buenos”. This is all thanks to Kora's original voice, which still makes her one of the most recognizable voices in Poland.

In 1981, they released their first album with such hits as: “Gray Mirages” and victorious “Divine Buenos”. Jackowski compared that releasing this album was like having a “first child”.

By 1989, the band had gained nationwide popularity. During this time, they released five albums, containing such hits as: “One-two-one-two”, “Krakow spleen”, “I love you my darling”, “Lipstick on the glass” and “It's getting dark” – a song whose clip was the first Polish music video broadcast on MTV. In 1991, they went on tour to the United States.

In the meantime, Kora recorded an album with the band Poodles. Wanting to perform solo, in 1988 she sang songs Agnieszka Osiecka at the 8th Actor's Song Festival in Wrocław. She also wrote book of poetry “Krakowski spleen”.

In 2001, she released an album “Golden Collection: Magic Word – Success”, containing selected recordings by the artist. Two years later it was published “Kora Ola Ola!”which took it to the first place of best-selling Polish albums.

Maanam broke up in 2008 and that's when they released their last song “Deep in the Heart”. Kora then continued her solo career. Five years later, Jackowski planned the band's great comeback, however this was interrupted by his sudden death.

Since then, she has released three albums and also became a juror on the show Must be the music. In 2011, she received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta from President Bronisław Komorowski, and five years later Golden Fryderyk for all his work.

In 2013, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer with metastases to the peritoneum. Due to the lack of reimbursement for medicines, she had to sell her house.

She died on July 28, 2018 for ovarian cancer in front of loved ones. She was buried at the Powązki Military Cemetery in Warsaw. She fought the disease until the very end. She said: “I have the nature of a soldier, I would be good at the front. I will go until I fall, as long as I can still get up.”