CHENNAI: Oscar-winning Greek music composer Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, professionally known as Vangelis, recently passed away at the age of 79, reports say. Vangelis had famously composed the musical theme for the 1981 film Chariots of Fire.
His assistant Lefteris Zermas confirmed the death but did not provide a specific cause, saying only that Vangelis died in a hospital in France. A Greek newspaper reported that Vangelis was being treated for Covid.
Born Evangelos Odessey Papathanassiou in Greece, the composer and musician known worldwide simply as Vangelis combined orchestral music, electronic synth sounds, jazz and ambient to create a then-new sound for Chariots of Fire that seemed to provide the musical equivalent of the ocean waves that crashed as the story’s Olympic runners sprinted down the beach.
His single titled Chariots of Fire - Titles topped the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1982, and the Chariots of Fire album - which is credited to Vangelis spent four weeks at No. 1, spending more than a year on the chart and going platinum. Vangelis would go on to compose scores for Blade Runner (1982), Missing, Antarctica, The Bounty, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Alexander, among many other recording projects, but would forever be most closely associated with the Chariots anthem. The theme, released as a single, reached the top of American Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has been used in countless sports presentations since, including the London 2012 Olympics ceremonies.