ATHENS, GREECE (AP) – Tolis Voskopoulos, a Greek singer, songwriter and popular actor whose career spanned more than six decades, has passed away. He was 80 years old.

Voskopoulos, considered a star of modern Greek folk music, died in an Athens hospital on Monday from cardiac arrest, days before his 81st birthday and several weeks after being hospitalized with respiratory problems, media reported Greek.

“Tolis Voskopoulos was fortunate to be appreciated by his colleagues and adored by the public,” Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni said in a statement. “He was a real popular idol, a talented and intelligent artist who created a different and particular kind of entertainment on stage.”

He “lived as he sang, sang as he lived and in the same way that he left: ‘unrepeatable’, as his melodic lyrics will say forever,” tweeted Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, echoing the title of one of Voskopoulos’ songs.

Born in the main Greek port city of Piraeus on July 26, 1940, to refugee parents from Asia Minor, Voskopoulos was the youngest of 12 children and the only boy. He began his acting career, first appearing on stage at the age of 18 in 1953, and made his film debut a few years later in 1963.

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His first major musical success was considered the 1968 song “Agonia”, composed by Giorgos Zambetas, which sold over 300,000 copies, a record figure for Greek music at the time.

He continued to produce major hits over the following decades and became known as the “prince” by his legions of fans. His last performance on stage was in February 2020, when he sang alongside his daughter Maria to celebrate the 60th anniversary of his career.

Voskopoulos has married four times. He is survived by his wife, former minister and current head of the Greek tourist organization Angela Gerekou and their daughter Maria Voskopoulou.

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