Pierre Kartner, aka Father Abraham, whose songs for The Smurfs sold 17 million copies worldwide, has died aged 87. 

The Dutch singer-songwriter worked with the cartoon series from 1977 until 2005, and his debut hit The Smurf Song reached No.2 on the UK charts in June 1978. 

He eventually parted ways with the series due to artistic differences with his record company Dureco – denying the world a second Kartner Smurf album. 

Kartner died on November 8, leaving behind his wife Annie and their son Walter.  

Kartner wrote more than 1,600 songs throughout his illustrious career, including for another popular cartoon series, Moomin, as well the the Dutch entry for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Kartner, born in Amsterdam in 1935, began singing at the age of eight when he won a local festival contest, but went on to work in a local chocolate factory. 

Decades later he stormed onto the music scene when he debuted his alter-ego Vater Abraham (Father Abraham) in 1971, releasing the smash hit Father Abraham Had Seven Sons. 

Pierre Kartner (pictured), aka Father Abraham, whose songs for The Smurfs sold 17 million copies around the world, has died aged 87

Pierre Kartner (pictured), aka Father Abraham, whose songs for The Smurfs sold 17 million copies around the world, has died aged 87

Pierre Kartner (pictured), aka Father Abraham, whose songs for The Smurfs sold 17 million copies around the world, has died aged 87

He grew out his beard and donned a bowler hat to create his signature look, and in 1977 was approached to compose The Smurf Song. 

His record label only released 1,000 copies of the promotional single, but bosses had to quickly order a further 400,000 after they flew off the shelves. 

The catchy tune almost topped the UK charts, reaching No.2 in June 1978.  

Following the success Kartner was tasked with creating a full album for the series, which sold more than 500,000 copies across the globe. 

All in all, his Smurf songs sold more than 17 million copies globally.  

His last song for the series came in 2005, when he re-recorded The Smurf Song with a band called Dynamite. 

Elsewhere, Kartner was not afraid to use his music as a way of wading into his country’s politics. 

In 1973, he recorded a song with a right-wing politician as a reaction to the oil crisis, placing blame on the social democratic prime miniser Joop den Uyl and Arabs. 

The song, which has since been deleted by the record company, contained the lyrics: ‘What shall we do with the Arabs here? They can’t be trusted with our pretty women here.’

Meanwhile his 1976 song Het leger der werklozen (The army of unemployed) described the jobless as spending the day in pubs drinking alcohol.

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