Vangelis, Oscar-winning ‘Chariots of Fire’ composer and Jon Anderson collaborator, dead at 79

Vangelis in 1991; Rob Verhorst/Redferns

Vangelis, the Greek composer and keyboardist best known for his chart-topping theme and Oscar-winning score to the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, has died at age 79, U.K. newspaper The Guardian reports.

According to the paper, representatives for the musician confirmed that he passed away at a French hospital, where he was being treated for an undisclosed illness.

Born Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou, Vangelis gained his greatest notoriety for composing the theme and the soundtrack to Chariots of Fire, which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 during the spring of 1982. His score to the movie also won an Academy Award.

Vangelis also released several collaborative albums with Yes frontman Jon Anderson under the moniker Vangelis and Jon during the 1980s and ’90s.

His other film work included composing the scores to 1982’s Blade Runner and Missing, 1984’s The Bounty, 1992’s 1492: Conquest of Paradise and 2004’s Alexander.

Early in his career, Vangelis was a member of the popular Greek prog-rock band Aphrodite’s Child, which was together from 1967 to 1972.

During his long career, Vangelis also released many solo studio albums, and composed music for ballets and stage productions.

His most recent album, 2021’s Juno to Jupiter, was inspired by NASA’s Juno probe.

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Happy Birthday, Babs! Barbra Streisand turns 80 on Sunday

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for BSB

On Sunday, April 24, Barbra Streisand celebrates her 80th birthday. A superstar of stage, screen, song and more, the Brooklyn, New York-born Streisand is one of the few performers who can boast achieving a career EGOT — that is, winning at last one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award.

Barbra’s fame came quickly: The powerhouse singer won two Grammys for her debut album, 1963’s The Barbra Streisand Album.

She garnered more acclaim with her portrayal of comedian/singer/actress Fanny Brice in the hit 1964 Broadway musical Funny Girl, then went on to win a Best Actress Oscar when she reprised the role in the 1968 film adaptation.

Her musical achievements are too numerous to name, but here’s a select list:

–Her 11 number-one albums on the Billboard 200 chart is a record for a female artists.
–She has scored five chart-topping singles on the Billboard Hot 100: 1973’s “The Way We Were“; 1976’s “Evergreen“; the 1978 Neil Diamond duet “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers“; her 1979 collaboration with Donna Summer, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”; and 1980’s “Woman in Love.”
–Her 10 total Grammy Awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Grammy Legend honor.
–She has sold an estimated 150 million records worldwide.
–She won a second Academy Award, a Best Original Song honor, for co-writing “Evegreen,” from the 1976 version of A Star Is Born.

Streisand has starred in many films during her long career, including the aforementioned Funny Girl and Evergreen, but she made movie history in 1983 with Yentl, becoming the first woman ever to write, direct, produce and star in a major studio production. She’s gone on to direct two more movies — 1991’s The Prince of Tides and 1996’s The Mirror Has Two Faces.

Barbra’s other accolades include a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as being recognized by the Kennedy Center Honors.

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Watch official trailer for upcoming ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ docuseries, which premieres next month


The first official trailer for the highly anticipated three-part Beatles documentary series The Beatles: Get Back has just debuted, and it’s really “Something.”

As previously reported, the docuseries — which was created from hours of unseen footage and audio recorded in January 1969 during sessions that yielded the Fab Four’s final album, Let It Be — premieres on Disney+ over three days, November 25, 26, and 27. Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

The nearly four-minute trailer gives some historic background about the sessions while offering clips of the band members working on songs, joking around and discussing musical ideas and plans, including whether they want to perform live for the first time in almost three years.

As the promo points out, the goal of the sessions was, over the course of three weeks, to capture The Beatles making a new album and debuting those songs with an at-first-undetermined live gig.

The trailer includes scenes of the band working on future classics like “Get Back” and “Something,” and segments of a conversation about the proposed concerts. We see John Lennon saying, “I would dig to play on stage,” while George Harrison counters, “I think we should forget the whole idea of a show.”

The clip also touches on how Harrison briefly quit the band during the sessions, and ends as The Beatles prepare to give what became their last-ever live performance, the famous surprise concert on the roof of Apple headquarters on London’s Savile Row.

The docuseries, which was directed by Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson, will include the full footage of rooftop show.

Each part of The Beatles: Get Back runs about two hours.

In addition to the trailer, the official poster art for the film event also debuted today.

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