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Popular singer and song-writer Arleta passes away at 72

Popular Greek singer, song-writer, music composer, and illustrator Arleta passed away at the hospital of Evangelismos on Tuesday. She was 72.

Unique presence with ballads, authentic voice, a creative personality.

Her songs marked the Greek music scene for more than 50 years. Their is no Greek who did not sing a couple of verses of Arleta’s songs at one point of his life.

Arleta was hospitalized following a stroke she suffered eight months ago.

“I’ve three times won the ‘Mister’ called death. What can I say? I think my chances are over,” Arleta said in an interview in November 2016.

The first stroke she suffered on February 11, 2008, just a few minutes before a planned performance at Volos. She underwent surgery, remaining in a critical but stable condition,from which she managed to recover, having remained though in hospital for 6 months and partly paralysed, unable to stand, for one year.

Arleta, whose real name was Ariadne Nicoleta Tsapra, was born in Athens on March 3, 1945. She studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts but switched to music soon after, eventually building a career that spanned from the 1960s to the present.

The singer was quickly associated with the Greek “new wave” and released her first album ‘A hat with songs’ in 1960. Her first great successes came with songs whose music was written by Lakis Papadopoulos and lyrics by Marianina Kriezi.

Like The Desert Song/The Quiet Evenings (1984)

Even if you leave
For the round of the world
You’ll always be mine
We will always be together

And I will not miss you
Because it will be my soul
the song of the desert
That will follow you

In the quiet evenings
Athens will light up
Like a big boat
With you inside

And I will not miss you
Because it will be my soul
the song of the desert
That will follow you

In the quiet evenings
The train of my life

Will pass by enlightened

With you inside you too

And I will not miss you
Because it will be my soul
the song of the desert
That will follow you

Once I remember (1966) – Lyrics by Giorgos Papastefanou, Music Giannis Spanos

She worked with many well-known Greek composers such as Giannis Spanos, Manos Hatzidakis and Mikis Theodorakis and produced hits such as ‘Serenata’, ‘Tsai Yasemiou’, ‘Bar to Navagio’ and ‘To Tragoudi tis Erimou’.

Apart from singing and song-writing, Arleta also designed the covers of music albums and books, and held two personal painting exhibitions in Tzia and Athens.

Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou commented: “Arleta was a beacon in contemporary Greek singing. An artist of unique tenderness, a songwriter who touched the audience with her sensitive lyrics and her warm voice,” she said.

Rare footage from 1989: Invited to a show hosted by actor Stefanos Linaios are Arleta and music producer and song writer Giorgos Papastefanou – the man who discovered Arleta in the early 1960’s.

Her death is a big loss for the Greek culture and music.

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