Renowned Greek singer Antonis Kalogiannis passed away from cardiac arrest at the age of 81 at his house in Athens on Thursday.
Kalogiannis was known for his powerful renditions of songs written by the famed composer Mikis Theodorakis.
Born in the Athenian neighborhood of Kaisariani in 1940 and living there during his formative years, the legendary singer originally worked as a humble cobbler until he met Theodorakis by chance in 1966.
Theodorakis, by then famous in Greece and abroad, was immediately enchanted by Kalogiannis’ dynamic voice, and asked him to sing with him on a tour across Greece, Europe, and the Soviet Union.
Kalogiannis resisted the Junta
Shortly after the collaboration between the two musicians began, Greece’s brutal far-right military dictatorship took power in the country.
The musical duo resisted the oppressive junta, risking their lives and livelihoods in the process.
Kalogiannis fled Greece in 1967, going on to form a band and spread awareness of Greece’s brutal dictatorship to the rest of the world.
When Kalogiannis returned to Greece in 1972, he teamed up again with Theodorakis, who had recently been released from prison, to fight the dictatorship with powerful songs that inspired Greeks to rise up against the Junta, which fell in 1974.
In addition to his resistance ballads and renditions of moving works of great Greek poets, including Yiannis Ritsos and Giorgos Seferis, Kalogiannis is also known for his compelling love songs.
After the fall of the Junta, Kalogiannis collaborated with some of Greece’s most well-known singers, including Alkistis Protopsalti and Vicky Moscholiou.