Oscar-winning composer Vangelis, best known for his work on Bladerunner and Chariot of Fire, died. He was 79.
Vangelis – born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou – died late Tuesday (May 17). A cause of death is not yet known.
His death was reported by Athens News Agencyciting a statement from his law firm.
Born in Agria, Greece, Papathanassiou was a largely self-taught musician and a member of Greek rock bands The Forminx and Aphrodite’s Child.
While still affiliated with the latter, he wrote one of his earliest film scores for L’Apocalypse des Animauxa French nature documentary.
Described as an innovator in electronic music, his work on that by Ridley Scott Bladerunner earned him an Oscar for Best Score in 1981.
Additionally, the soundtrack album topped the Billboard 200 album chart in April 1982, and the film’s opening theme, “Titles,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 a month later.
Papathanassiou began his solo career in 1973 with his first album Fais que ton rêve soit plus long que la nuit. In September 2021 he released his last studio album, Juno to Jupiter.
Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis recalled Papathanassiou as “the protagonist of electronic sound, Oscars, myth and big hits” in a translated tribute shared on Twitter.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also tweeted: “Vangelis Papathanassiou was a great Greek composer who excelled on a global scale. We leave with a big thank you for what he has offered music, culture and Greece.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/vangelis-death-chariots-of-fire-blade-runner-composer-b2083064.html Vangelis Death: The composer of Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner dies at the age of 79