Greek laiko singer Vasilis Karras, known for his distinctive raspy voice, died on Christmas Eve, December 24th 2023 after a long battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.

He had been hospitalised in intensive care for the last few days prior to his passing due to coronavirus.

Karras (family name Kesoglidis) was born on 12th November 1953 in Kokkinochori, near Kavala, northern Greece and moved with his family to Thessaloniki when he was 10. In 1969, while working as a car mechanic, he made a brief but very successful appearance at the Prosfygas club in Thessaloniki.

In 1980 he recorded his first album, ‘Alismonites Ores‘, which set Karras on the long path towards fame and recognition. His best-selling album was ‘M’echis kani aliti‘ (1997) surpassing 180,000 sales, with numerous gold and platinum albums under his belt.

He produced timeless hits such as ‘Nihta Xelogiastra‘, ‘Fainomeno‘, ‘Opos Palia‘, ‘Den Pao Pouthena‘, ‘As’ Tin Na Lei‘, ‘Vrexei sti Thessaloniki‘, ‘Tilefonise Mou‘, ‘Lege o,ti Thes‘ and ‘Ap’ to Voria Mexri To Noto‘.

His last album was released this year, titled ‘Eimai Edo‘, with his current hit song ‘Gia Parti Tis‘ currently circulating on the LGR playlists.

He collaborated with various composers and lyricists, including Dimitris Rakitzis, Foivos, George Theofanous, Alekos Chrysovergis, Spyros Giatras, Evi Droutsa, Panos Falaras, Christos Dantes, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Ilias Filippou, Michalis Hatzigiannis, Christos Nikolopoulos, and many others. Karras also had numerous duets with singers like Marianthi Kefala, Pyx Lax, Konstantina, Angela Dimitriou, Tolis Voskopoulos, Nikos Zoidakis, Kaiti Garbi, Despina Vandi, Elli Kokkinu, Irini Merkouri, Paola, Pantelis Pantelidis, and Giorgo Kakosaio. He worked with most of them in live shows and was also a composer and lyricist, writing songs for many other Greek singers.

He also travelled around the world in cities such as London with large Greek and Cypriot diasporas.

The funeral service took place on Wednesday at the Holy Temple of Agios Nestoros in the village of Kokkinochori in Kavala, the distinctive birthplace of Vasilis Karras, where he was buried at around noon. As per the singer’s wish, he will be laid to rest next to his parents.

The body of Vasilis Karras had been placed on Tuesday in a popular pilgrimage at the Holy Church of Agia Sophia in Thessaloniki. Thousands of Greeks had lined the streets for this occasion to bid their final farewell to the beloved laiko singer.

He is survived by his wife Christina Kesoglides and his daughter Irene.

Everyone at LGR extend their condolences to the family and we thank him for his services to Greek music.

Article written by London Greek Radio