Vangelis, ‘Chariots Of Fire’ and ‘Blade Runner’ composer, has died

"rest in peace to a pioneer and personal musical hero"

Vangelis, who composed soundtracks for Chariots Of Fire and Blade Runner has died at 79 years old.

According to a statement, the Oscar award-winning Greek composer, died on Tuesday (May 17). His assistant Lefteris Zermas confirmed that he had died in a hospital in Paris, and that the cause of death was heart failure.

Born Evángelos Papathanassíou, Vangelis was a self-taught musician and piano prodigy. He was also the co-founder of the prog-rock group Aphrodite’s Child.

The uplifting and triumphant theme he composed for Chariots Of Fire in 1981 won him the Best Orignal Score trophy at the Academy Awards. It was also released as a single and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Later, he composed groundbreaking soundtracks for Blade Runner and the PBS documentary series Cosmos.

Tributes have started to come in for the Vangelis, with composer Austin Wintory, calling him an “icon” and adding that he “changed an entire era of music.”

EL-P of Run The Jewels, also shared a tribute, saying, “rest in peace to a pioneer (and personal musical hero) Vangelis. thank you”.

EL-P previously shared that “Vangelis is one of my biggest influences and so Blade Runner, and the ’80s super synth era, strikes a chord in me.”

Danger Mouse also talked about the composer’s influence, saying he was “going for the Vangelis Blade Runner vibe” on Marina Topley-Bird’s 2008 trip-hop-soul record ‘The Blue God’.”

Oscar-nominated musician Daniel Pemberton, also shared a tribute, noting that it’s “hard to underestimate the colossus impact of Vangelis on modern film music”.

He added that Vangelis had “changed an entire era of music” and “It is also hard to understand how groundbreaking Chariots of Fire was. A period British film with a phenomenal synth score.”

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