'Chariots Of Fire' Composer Vangelis Dies At 79

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Vangelis, the composer best known for his themes to 1981’s Chariots of Fire and 1982’s Blade Runner, died Tuesday at 79.

According to reports, he died in a hospital in France while being treated for COVID-19.

"I’d always loved his soundtrack to Blade Runner. Then in the mid 90s I had the honour of writing & singing a song on his album Voices," tweeted Paul Young. "An immense talent that will be missed by his family, and the world of music."

DJ-producer Armin van Buuren shared: "I’m so sad ... I had the privilege to meet him in Paris last year. He was one of my heroes, a big inspiration and just a beautiful person. I still listen to his albums a lot."

Vangelis won Best Score at the Academy Awards for the theme to Chariots of Fire, which topped the U.S. singles chart and peaked at No. 4 in Canada. He refused to attend the Oscars ceremony, claiming he despised competition.

Born Evángelos Papathanassíou in Greece, he started his music career playing in pop bands and then started composing music for documentaries. He also teamed up with Jon Anderson of Yes to record several albums as Jon & Vangelis.

Vangelis' fellow composers are paying tribute on social media.

"An astounding original talent who’s [sic] groundbreaking synthesiser and orchestral music became the inspiration for so many musicians and composers," tweeted David G. Arnold. "A huge loss to the arts as well as to everyone who loved his work.

"A genius . a giant , a trailblazer . one of the greats . so upsetting."

Jean-Michel Jarre tweeted: "We will all remember your unique touch and your moving melodies forever."

English composer Daniel Pemberton tweeted: "One of my all time heroes. He changed everything … It is hard to under estimate the colossus impact of Tangelos on modern film music.”

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