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Egyptian-born Greek singer Demis Roussos dies at 68

Demis Roussos died in an Athens hospital at the weekend

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Greek singer Demis Roussos, best known for operatic pop ballads in the 1970s and 1980s, died in Athens at the weekend aged 68, the private hospital that had been treating him said Monday.

The entertainer had been admitted to the Igia clinic some time ago with an undisclosed illness.

The medical facility issued only a brief statement announcing his death.

Roussos, who was born in Egypt on June 15, 1945, to a Greek father who took the family back to Greece in 1961, found fame in the 1970s after teaming up with fellow Greek musician Vangelis in the band Aphrodite's Child.

He soon went solo and built a long career over which he sold millions of albums with such hits as "Forever and Ever", "Mr Reason" and "Goodbye My Love, Goodbye".

Roussos had long struggled with his weight, and in latter years suffered ill-health that kept him chair-bound.

He recorded and toured until 2009, when his last album came out. One of his last public appearances was in Athens in 2013, when he received a French Legion of Honour medal for his life's work.

But it was his glowering face on 1970s and 1980s album covers that provided the most enduring image of the singer: a theatrical figure with a flowing dark beard, intense dark eyes and long hair thinning on top.

He carried this larger-than-life persona on stage during concerts, and sustained it with a voice that belted out powerful operatic flourishes.