Larger than life Greek singer Demis Roussos dies at 68

Causes of death for artist best known for his solo hits “Forever and Ever,” “Goodbye” and “Quand Je T’Aime” not made public.

January 26, 2015 20:19
1 minute read.
GREEK SINGER Demis Roussos.

GREEK SINGER Demis Roussos performs during a private birthday party in Moscow’s New Manezh in 2006.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Internationally acclaimed Greek singer Demis Roussos has died in a private hospital in Athens. He was 68. He died early on Sunday morning while hospitalised at Ygeia Hospital in Athens. The cause of death was not made public.

Roussos became popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Originally part of progressive rock group Aphrodite’s Child in the 1960s, he began a hugely successful solo career in 1971. He was best known for his solo hits “Forever and Ever,” “Goodbye” and “Quand Je T’Aime.”

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His most successful collaboration was “Race to the End,” a vocal adaptation of the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire musical theme. Furthermore, in 1982 Roussos participated as a guest artist on the soundtrack for the film Blade Runner.

In 1985, Roussos was among 153 people taken hostage when Lebanese militant group Hezbollah hijacked a TWA Boeing 727 on a flight from Athens to Rome, and he spent his 39th birthday on the plane.

He was released unharmed five days later, and at a press conference thanked his captors for giving him a birthday cake.

The singer was born Artemios Ventouris Roussos in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1946, to a Greek father and Egyptian mother of Italian origin.

He was raised there until his parents moved to Greece in the early 60s after losing their possessions during the Suez Crisis.

Roussos began his music career at 17, when he joined the a band called The Idols, where he met his future Aphrodite’s Child bandmate Vangelis.

Aphrodite’s Child produced three albums and enjoyed huge success in Europe in the late 1960s, especially France.

He continued touring into the early 2000s, and in 2009 he released his final studio album Demis.

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