The name of the new group was “Pepe and the Paradise.” This period extending all the way into the late 1970’s was very productive: the group recorded many chart hits and would-be evergreens in Finland, some of them composed by Pepe Willberg. In the early 1980’s the artist’s career followed a more independent path including a period of free-lancing and more intensive focus on composing and songwriting (also for other Finnish pop music artists). In 1998 Pepe Willberg’s long and uninterrupted career hit another milestone when a pop quartet called the Masters was formed in the spirit of the Back To The Sixties revival. Apart from Pepe, the group consisted of such prominent stars as Pave Maijanen, Kirka Babitzin and Heikki Harma also known as Hector (a pioneering folk singer/songwriter on Finland’s pop music scene). The success and popularity of this group was astounding as witnessed by sold-out concerts in various arenas and Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium.
A live double-CD titled “The Masters in the Arena” was recorded and it reached staggering sales figures in Finland (120,000). 2006 was a truly special year for Pepe Willberg as he himself turned 60 years while one of his most-loved standards, the Finnish rendition of “To Make A Big Man Cry,” had a 40-year old anniversary. A special commemorative tour was arranged along with a nostalgic recording in which he sang 30 of his most popular all-time classics in an updated, fresh way, thus reaching a whole new generations of fans. In October 2007 Pepe performed – probably for the the last time – with the rest of the original Jormas group on the stage of the Finlandia Hall at an international Golden Sixties concert. In 2009 Pepe Willberg had been on Finland’s pop music scene for 45 years enjoying constant popularity. This was an excellent reason for yet another concert tour in October and November around Finland.
For the holiday season the artist performed in two Christmas concerts featuring both Finnish and international songs, in cooperation with a female singer quintet known as “IrmaS” and backed by an orchestra consisting of top musicians. With his unmistakable voice and very honest interpretations “Pepe” is a true living legend, who is still going strong, supported by a great number of fans representing several generations. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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