Demis Roussos

Artemios Ventouris Roussos was born to Greek parents in Alexandria, Egypt, in June of 1946. His family fled to Greece during the Suez Crisis of 1956, leaving behind all of its possessions.

Demis had to support his family by performing in cabarets, while learning how to play the guitar, trumpet and piano. In the middle of the 1960s he met Vangelis, a Greek multi-instrumentalist — since famed for his hit, “Chariots Of Fire”, in 1981 — and the pair formed the rock group, Aphrodite’s Child. Releasing¬† albums bearing titles such as ‘666’, this phase of Demis’s life could not have been any further removed from that of a decade later when he toured the world dressed in his trademark kaftans.

Demis Roussos’s first in a long line of solo albums, ‘Fire And Ice’, demonstrated how he had managed to mix light balladry with rock. His long flowing black hair, bearded face and then massive frame, coupled with his unusual falsetto and obligatory intricately embroidered kaftans all became a part of what was known as the ‘Roussos Phenomenon’, in 1975 and 1976.

In 1985, the aeroplane on which Demis was travelling, from Athens to Rome, was hijacked and for five days it remained stationary on the tarmac in Beirut.

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