Demis Roussos

Demis Roussos

Birth
Alexandria, El Eskenderiya, Egypt
Death 25 Jan 2015 (aged 68)
Athens, Regional unit of Athens, Attica, Greece
Burial Athens, Regional unit of Athens, Attica, Greece
Memorial ID 141798076 · View Source
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Singer. Alexandria born Artemios Venturis-Roussos came from a Greek family of musicians, the father, George, being a classical guitarist apart from his official position as an engineer, and the mother, Olga, a singer. Named after his paternal grandfather in accordance with the Greek tradition, Artemios was soon called "Demis", a diminutive which remains his known name to date. Studying music, having joined the choir of the local Greek Byzantine church, he was soon appointed its soloist. Learning in the meantime how to play the guitar and the trumpet, the Suez crisis forced the Roussos family to return to Greece. By the age of seventeen, when Olga was preparing to send him to the best school in Athens, much to her disappointment, Demis formed his first band, 'The Idols', in which he played the guitar and bass. Having to replace the band's singer due to his absence for a short period, his voice soon attracted the public, leading him to form the group 'Aphrodite's Child' along with Evangelos Papathanassiou, who later become known as Vangelis, and Loukas Sideras. Touring Europe making 239 television appearances, desiring to confront the English and American markets, he started composing English songs. Beginning a solo career with the disbanding of the group, Demis released the 'Fire and Ice' album in 1971. His first single, 'We Shall Dance', released that same year, was one of the biggest summer hits, leading to his international career. His second album in 1973, 'Forever and Ever' composed songs that would nearly all become great hits just like the album title itself, 'My Friend the Wind' and 'Goodbye My Love, Goodbye' and reached no 2 in the UK charts by the following year. In the years that followed, the kaftan-clad, impressively built, velvet voiced pop artist achieved global recognition, selling more than sixty million records in his long career. Donned with long hair and beard, knee-high leather boots and beads, by the end of the 1970's, he weighed nearly 150kg but after trying several diets, he found one that helped him lose more than six stone in ten months, which experience he described in the 1982 publication 'A Question of Weight'. Held hostage by Hezbollah terrorists along with other passengers traveling on TWA Flight 847 from Athens to Rome in 1985, he was released with other Greek citizens after five days, the others after seventeen. In the process, the terrorists murdered Robert Stethem, a twenty three year old United States Navy Seabee diver. Continuing to record and tour, Roussos was decorated with the Legion of Honour of the Republic of France in 2013. Unknowingly diagnosed with stomach cancer which soon spread to his pancreas and liver, he died at the Hygeia Hospital in Athens on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 9.30 in the morning, surrounded by his wife and two children. His funeral was held on Friday, January 30 at the First Cemetery of Athens, where interment followed after an Orthodox service.

Bio by: Eman Bonnici


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: José L Bernabé Tronchoni
  • Added: 25 Jan 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 141798076
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Demis Roussos (15 Jun 1946–25 Jan 2015), Find a Grave Memorial no. 141798076, citing Athens First Cemetery, Athens, Regional unit of Athens, Attica, Greece ; Maintained by Find A Grave .