Finland’s first international Walk of Fame for music, located in Tampere, has received five new star plates. To celebrate the Tampere Day on 1.10.2021, five new stars for the big names in the music industry were immortalised on the Walk of Fame: Mikko Alatalo, Yö, Värttinä, Kaija Koo and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The first international Walk of Fame in Finland was opened in Tampere in the autumn of 2019, when 11 of the first star plates were embedded in the street. New stars are added every year based on the suggestions received from the public. There are now a total of 18 star plates on the Walk of Fame, based on the suggestions from the public.
Get to know this year’s stars
Singer, songwriter and producer Mikko Alatalo has made a monumental life’s work with music. He has been involved in the development of manserock and the whole Finnish rock industry. Alatalo turned 70 this year and he is also celebrating his 50-year career in music. Mikko Alatalo has written more than 600 songs, which are among the best-known works of Finnish pop and schlager music. He has received many industry accolades, including winning the Syksyn sävel song contest four times. Mikko Alatalo is also involved in political activities and has acted as a social advocate for various artists.
Yö is a Finnish band founded in 1981 and it is one of the longest-running and most popular Finnish rock bands. Yö’s front man and original member Olli Lindholm passed away in 2019. The band has released 23 studio albums. In the early days, Yö was one of the Finnish rock bands that was influenced by a short punk wave, which soon made such artists develop into a generic “new wave” type of direction for their music. Even one of the most popular hits of Yö ”Likaiset Legendat” says it all: ”He wanted his name in the stars…”
A contemporary folk music group called Värttinä was founded in 1983. Its roots are part of Karelian tradition, especially in women’s way of singing and the so-called rune-singing. Värttinä consists of three singers and three musicians. The band’s front women are Mari Kaasinen, Susan Aho and Karoliina Kantelinen. Värttinä is in many ways acting as the pioneer in the internationalisation of Finnish music. Värttinä has built a remarkable career around the world, touring all over Europe, as well as North America, Japan, Australia and Brazil countless times. Värttinä has made more than ten studio albums and has represented Finland at major festivals and made various international television appearances.
Singer Kaija Koo, who has achieved huge success, has recorded many hits and gained widespread popularity among many different age groups. Overall, Kaija Koo has sold over half a million albums, and her album published in 1993 Tuulten Viemää is Finland’s seventh best-selling album of all time with over 175,000 copies. In her career, Kaija Koo has mostly performed schlager and pop songs. She came to public attention in the early 1980s with the pop-rock band called Steel City.
Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen is one of the brightest international stars of the Finnish music export. Until the end of 2021, he is working simultaneously as a Principal Conductor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and the Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony. At the beginning of his career in 1979, he worked with the Radio Symphony Orchestra. Salonen has received several awards during his career, including the Commander of the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II.
Tähtikadu takes into account Tampere’s heritage as a music city
Based on the suggestions from the public, a jury of music professionals, the board of Music & Media Finland, whittled down the proposals and the Education and Culture Committee of Tampere made the final decisions. According to Matti Helimo, Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Education and Culture Committee, the new stars represent music nationwide, but also take into account Tampere’s heritage.
– The stars nominated now in the Walk of Fame represent a wide range of musical genres. They are not just representatives of pop, rock or any other single genre. In this way, we also send the message that Tampere is a diverse and equal city of music, where everyone has the right to music, he says.
The Walk of Fame celebrates and honours key operators in the Finnish and international music scene in the birthplace of Manserock in Tampere. In 2019, the stars of Cheek, Juice Leskinen, Popeda, Katri Helena, Jean Sibelius, Kaija Saariaho and Epe Helenius were immortalised on the Walk of Fame. In 2020, Tapio Korjus, Eppu Normaali, Nightwish, Karita Mattila, Ismo Alanko and Paula Koivuniemi received their names on the star plates. Every year, 3-8 new star winners are announced.
In addition, every two years a star is added to the street for the two previous Tampere Music Award winners. This year’s winner is Ben Mandelson, whose name will be immortalised in the star on October 8th. The same star will also feature the name of 2019 Tampere Music Award winner Daniel Lieberberg. The Walk of Fame is a cooperation between the City of Tampere, Tampere Hall Ltd and the Music & Media, professional event for music professionals.