Artemios Ventouris Roussos, as the real name of Demis is, was born in Alexandria Egypt, on 15th June 1946.
In Athens in the mid-sixties, tourism was starting to flourish which, in turn, supported the numerous bands around that city, that played mostly cover versions of big hits from the west, especially from England and the US. Demis played in many of those bands, both as a trumpet player and a bass player. It was not until Demis performed with the group WE FIVE that he was able to show his abilities as a singer to the public. The group’s lead singer decided to introduce a break into his performance and allowed Demis to sing lead on the Animals hit “House of the Rising Sun”, “When a man loves a woman” and “Black is Black” at the group’s show.
Whilst performing in the big hotels in Athens such as The Hilton, Demis met many fellow musicians, including Vangelis Papathanassiou, the leader of the group FORMINX with whom Demis got along very well. Together with Agyrilos Koulouris and Loukas Sideras they founded a group APHRODITE’S CHILD, which was to become world famous. APHRODITE’S CHILD was lucky to get “Rain and Tears” recorded when they did; the May riots in Paris in 1968 had brought the French economy to a virtual stand-still. The single was an instant hit throughout Europe and the group’s first LP.
Things came to an end whilst recording the album “666” and as a result in 1971 Demis and Loukas went their separate ways. Vangelis, meanwhile, was putting the finishing touch on APHRODITE’S CHILDS’ last LP. Demis’ first solo album, “On the Greek side of my mind” was released in November 1971. His third single “My reason” became a worldwide hit in the summer of 1972. Consequently, a second solo LP was recorded and released in April 1973, preceded by the single “Forever and Ever’’ which became a classic, selling more than 12 million copies to-date.
On his LP “Forever and Ever” there were no less than six hit singles, including “Goodbye my love, goodbye’’, “Velvet Mornings’’, “Lovely Lady of Arcadia”, “My Friend the wind” and “My reason’’. In 1973 Demis was ‘Top of the bill’ in Europe, Latin America and Canada and he gave concerts all over the world. Demis owed his popularity mainly to his live performances, which earned him an unbelievable number of fans. Meanwhile, in Germany, Demis became a star with hits like “Goodbye my love goodbye”, “Schones Madchen aus Arcadis’’, “Kyrila’’ and “Auf wiedersehen”.
France has always been a second home for Demis and in an artistic sense, it was his first. So it stands to reason that he recorded a French LP in 1977. “Amour” became one of his biggest hits ever. 1979 was the year for a united Europe. Demis’ album “Universum” was released that year in no less than four languages: French, German, Italian and Spanish. Demis was particularly successful with the album in Italy and France. David Mackay was engaged as the producer for Demis’ album “Man of the world” in 1980 which resulted in a high high “Lost in Love”, a duet with Florence Warner. In 1982 Demis surprised everybody with “Attitudes” included the songs “Follow me” and “House of the Rising Sun”.
On 14th July 1985, Demis flew from Athens to Rome with his new girlfriend, Pamela. Their plane was hijacked and Demis was kept prisoner in Beirut for seven days. For Demis, the only way to get over this rather traumatic experience was to make music again. In Holland he recorded the single “Island of Love”, which was considered a comeback in the spring of 1986. 1993 was an important year because we celebrated 25 years of Demis Roussos. Demis is still touring all over the world. Concerts in Moscow, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro and Dubai are part of his life.
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