Popular Greek laiko singer, Vasilis Karras, known for his distinctive raspy voice, died on Sunday after a long battle with cancer, state-run broadcaster ERT said. He was 70 years old.

He had been treated in European Interbalkan Medical Center and was recently infected with Covid-19, a local news portal said. 

Karras (family name Kesoglidis) was born on 12 November 1953 in Kokkinohori, near Kavala, northern Greece and moved with his family to Thessaloniki when he was 10. In 1969, while working at a car workshop, he made a brief but very successful appearance at the club “Prosfygas” 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), while numerous records have gone gold and platinum.

Through his decades-long career he worked with some of the biggest names in laiko music and sang at nightclubs in Athens and Thessaloniki. He also traveled around the world in cities with large Greek diasporas.

He is survived by his wife and son. 

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