Heli Lääts

Award-winning Estonian mezzo Heli Lääts was born in Kuressaare on 24 June 1932, and grew up in Sauvere. Her mother was shot by German soldiers during the World War II occupation of Estonia, and she went to live with an Aunt. She studied singing with Georg Ots and Tiit Kuusik at the Tallinn State Conservatory, becoming the first Estonian singer to be qualified in estrada and chamber singing.

She began her career as a singer of estrada - traditional Soviet popular music. In 1958 she was the first Estonian singer to win a title in a Soviet Union-wide estrada contest. She was a member of the Eesti Raadio Women's Trio and a soloist with the Estonian SSR State Philharmonic, where she also worked as a voice teacher in the Philharmonic's estrada studio. She also performed and recorded children's songs, released several albums and recorded music for Eesti Raadio.

Heli Lääts died in Tallinn on 16 February 2018, aged eighty-five.