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..:: StarinkWorld - Demis Roussos ::..

Demis Roussos Demis Roussos was born as Artemios Ventouris-Roussos in Alexandria, Egypt, on 15th June 1946.

He was a Greek singer and entertainer who had international hit records as solo performer in the 70s and 80s and was known for adapting his hits in several languages for the local markets such as German, Spanish or Dutch. He mainly performed in English. He is also known for being - besides Vangelis - a foundation member of the Greek progressive rock group "Aphrodite's Child".

Demis and his parents, Yorgos and Olga Ventouris-Roussos, lived in Egypt until the Suez Crisis in 1956. At that time they settled back to Greece. His parents were musicians, too.

Influenced by his early years in Egypt and the later relocation to Greece his musical style ranged from traditional Arab and Greek Orthodox music, but jazz and rock as well.

In Greece he met at the age of 17 Vangelis and 4 years later in 1967 they formed the rather famous progressive rock group "Aphrodite's Child" which most famous and successful record will be "666" (1972).

After the band disbanded, Demis continued to record occasionally with his former bandmate Vangelis. Their most successful collaboration was "Race to the End", a vocal adaptation of Vangelis' theme from the Oscar winning movie "Chariots of Fire". The stirring voice of Demis Roussos can also be heard on Vangelis' soundtrack for Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" (1982).

Demis' solo career began in the early 70s with his song "We Shall Dance" (1971). In 1973/74 his singles topped the charts in several countries. Songs like "Forever and Ever", "Goodbye My Love, Goodbye" and "Lovely Lady of Arcadia" were even years later still in the charts and adapted for local markets as well.

In 1985 Demis was among the passengers of the TWA (Trans World Airlines) flight # 847 from Athens to Rome which was hijacked by members of Hizbollah and Islamic Jihad. He was released after 5 days together with four other hostages whereas most of the other hostages remained for 17 days in the plane. The hostage-taking unfortunately didn't end bloodlessly as one hostage has been killed. The other passengers weren't harmed seriously, but nevertheless this was a traumatic event.

In the mid 80s Demis Roussos signed with Bert van Breda's BR Music in the Netherlands. The album "Greater Love" features a coverversion of the famous song "Summerwine", composed by Lee Hazlewood. He sung this duet with Nancy Boyd, a famous pop singer from Belgium. The album was produced by Ad Bouman.

In 1988 BR Music released an album called "The Music Composed by Vangelis O. Papathanassiou" which contains (instrumental) coverversions taken from the repertoire of Ed Starink. The songs "I Hear You Now" and "I'll Find My Way Home" were sung by Demis Roussos and "State of Independence" was sung by Nancy Boyd.

Ed Starink first was hired for several rearrangements of Demis' older hits which has been released on several best-ofs, adapted for different markets. Later he produced together with Bert van Breda new albums for Demis Roussos such as "Come All Ye Faithful" (1987), "In Holland" (1995), "Immortel" (1995, Arcade) and "Serenade" (1996, Arcade). The 2007 compilation "En France" has been released on BR Music and contains also tracks produced by Ed Starink. The Dutch label Arcade also released albums with these arrangements.

In the 21st century Demis released some new albums such as "Auf meinen Wegen" (2000), "Live in Brazil" (2006) and "Demis" (2009) and he also toured across the world.

Demis Roussos died in the morning of 25th January 2015 in Athens, Greece, at the age of 68.

Research and text: Andreas Heinz (StarinkWorld).
Photographies: private archive Ed Starink.

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