GEORGE DALARAS Greece's biggest selling artist in history (more than 20 million albums).
Born in Piraeus (Athens port), he comes from a tradition of folk and blues music of Greek origin which had been branded ”Rembetika” - a style that George Dalaras has approached with consistency and knowledge throughout his career and which critics in Europe have tied with Flamenco and Fado since then. Possessing a deep knowledge on the style, Dalaras has revitalized it, making its timeless elements known to the European audience. "When I sang Rembetika, which had been both censored and forgotten, I was able to bring it back for the young people. Since then it's had a rebirth that has affected contemporary Greek music."
Following his tremendous success with "Paraponemena logia" (Saddened words) -which had become the theme song for an entire generation of young Greeks in the early 1980s- he became the first musician to take modern Greek music from small local clubs to large concert halls and arenas. Dalaras subsequently performed two sold-out shows at the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium of Athens. A live recorded album, Ta tragoudia mou (My songs), sold more than 700,000 copies.
Meanwhile Daklaras released 95 individual and more than 90 albums in cooperation with prominent musicians - thus his long career was marked by numerous collaborations, important Greek composers, amongst them Mikis Theodorakis, others with Sting, Paco de Lucía, Al Di Meola, Goran Bregovic, Ian Anderson a.o.
Thanks to his border crossing music expressing social indignation, responsibility and hope, George Dalaras has been awarded the Kennedy Award as well as the title of the UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.