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Dino Jelusick (Dino Jelusić), born 4 June 1992, is a Croatian rock singer, musician, and songwriter. He was the founder, principal songwriter and lead singer of hard rock band Animal Drive, which was formed in 2012. and dissolved in 2020. Besides working on several hard rock and metal projects, since 2016 Dino became permanent member of American rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He also worked with Gus G., Mike Mangini, George Lynch, Will Hunt, Michael Romeo, Jeff Scott Soto, Joel Hoekstra, Steve Smyth, Jon Oliva, Kip Winger, John Macaluso, Deen Castronovo, Phil Demmel, Mike Portnoy, Henrik Linder, Justin Johnson, Tony Franklin, Kyle Hughes, Virgil Donati, Kiko Loureiro, Jordan Rudess, David Coverdale, Tommy Aldridge, Reb BeachMichele Luppi, Lachy Doley and others.

Dino got his master’s degree in the Academy of Music, University of Zagreb, in 2020.

On July 27th 2021, David Coverdale and Whitesnake announced that Dino became new snake and member of Whitesnake!

As his parents also played musical instruments, Dino was introduced to music and singing at the age of three and started performing at the age of five by appearing on television and on international festivals.

Dino participated and won the first Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2003 in Denmark with his own song “Ti si moja prva ljubav“. He released his debut solo album, No. 1 in 2003 and an English version in 2004. He toured the United States, Scandinavia and Australia until 2005 and the tour included four concerts in Denmark with a total audience of 100.000 people. The same year Dino became the youngest nominee of the Croatian music award Porin at the age of twelve. In 2005, he was one of the three main acts at the Langeland festival in Denmark along with UB40 and Ronan Keating.

Dino had grown up listening to King’s X, Slash, Whitesnake, Dream Theater and Toto, among others, and he decided to change his musical direction to hard rock and metal.

2009 he started recording a new studio album in Melbourne, Australia which was finalized with producer Robert Ahrling in Malmö, Sweden. The album named “Living My Own Life” was released in August 2011.

Between 2012 and 2013 Dino was hired to take part in an international project in South Africa named “Synkropation”. The project consisted of an album featuring the collaboration of different artists, including Mandoza and Dilana. Though the album was never released, he was featured on several songs and played to an audience of 50.000 people in Johanesburg where he also participated in two rock operas.

In 2014 Dino was awarded second place at the international festival Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk, Belarus. Afterward, he began experiencing problems with his voice. In September, he underwent surgery for Reinke’s edema. After the surgery, he composed all songs and recorded concept album titled “Prošao sam sve” (English: “I went through it all”), which was released in November 2014. The album is based on the autobiographical novel “260 days” by Marijan Gubina, about a 10-year-old boy who survived 260 days of captivity in a war camp during the Croatian War of Independence (1991–1995).

In 2015, American drummer John Macaluso was looking for another singer (next to Ivan Mihaljević) and keyboardist for his new American-Croatian band Stone Leaders. Dino joined the band and helped record their self-titled album, which was eventually released in March 2019. During this time, he was also a member of Croatian metal band The Ralph with whom he released the album “Enter Escape” in February 2017.

The same year, Dino won four awards at the Discovery festival in Bulgaria, one of which for his song “Father”. In 2016, he won the International Festival “New Wave” in Sochi, Russia, the biggest singing contest in the world.

February 2016 was a turning point in Jelusick’s music career. He later commented that until the mid 2010’s he faced numerous difficulties within the Croatian music industry. He was noticed by American rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra. After auditioning and meeting with producer Paul O’Neill in his studio in Tampa, Florida, Dino was chosen to join the group. He took part in their 2016 winter tour. During the 2017 winter tour, the band, with Kayla Reeves on the East, and Dino Jelusick on the West TSO lineup, honored late O’Neill while playing “The Safest Way into Tomorrow“.

In the meantime, Jelusick’s main project became working with his progressive hard rock band Animal Drive which he founded in 2012. Band’s final lineup came together in 2015. The group’s biggest influence is the British hard rock band Whitesnake. Before he joined TSO’s tour, Animal Drive recorded a few songs and by the recommendation of TSO’s vocalist Jeff Scott Soto, the record label Frontiers Records listened to their work and decided to sign a record deal with the band in 2017. Their debut studio album, “Bite!”, was released in February 2018 to critical acclaim. In April 2019, they released a covers EP titled “Back to the Roots”. It included a rendition of Skid Row’s “Monkey Business” as its first single, and Roxette‘s “The Look” (with guest vocalist Rosa Laricchiuta) as its second single in May 2019. The album received very good reviews.

In 2018 and 2019, Dino performed in several episodes of the entertainment and music program “A-side” of Croatian National Television and was the youngest mentor in the HRT production of the BBC show “Just the Two of Us. His appearance with partner and actress Tara Thaller managed to win the competition after 8 shows.

In May 2019, Lords of Black‘s Tony Hernando released a self-titled album with his solo project “Restless Spirits”. Dino sang on two of the album’s tracks, “Cause I Know You’re the One” and “Lost Time (Not to Be Found Again)”. The record also included guest artists including Deen Castronovo, Johnny Gioeli and Alessandro Del Vecchio. In late 2018, Dino co-wrote all songs and recorded vocals and keyboards for Dirty Shirley, music project with George Lynch (Lynch Mob, Dokken…), which also featured Will Hunt on drums and Trevor Roxx on bass. The self-titled album was released in January 2020, to positive reviews.

Dino was also featured singer on two songs on Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall album.

2020 Dino Joined ex-Krokus members and Mandy Mayer (Gotthard, Asia, Unisonic…) for a concert project named Gotus and they released a video for the song “Souls Alive” (Unisonic).

2020, the well-known Corona year led to cancelation of many concerts and tours. Dino focused his time to compose new songs and record jams with famous musicians as Mike Portnoy, Joel Hoekstra, Tony Franklin, Kyle Hughes, Virgil Donati, Kiko Loureiro, Jordan Rudess…

July 2021 upon a direct phone call from David Coverdale, Dino became permanent member of Whitesnake.

Michael Romeo, guitar master from NY insisted that Dino should sing on his new album “War of the Worlds part 2” and it became a great and successful collaboration

2022 Dino toured Europe with Whitesnake.  As last part of the EU tour was canceled due to some DC health issues, Dino joined The Dead Daisies tour replacing Glenn Hughes who got sick of covid.

End of November 2022 a great burden was lifted from Dino’s back when the judge in court of Napoli finished the more than 2 year long legal battle with his ex-label Frontiers Records and Dino immediately started recording new songs for his band Jelusick.