Tzeni Vanou, one of the most popular Greek singers of all time lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday. During the last few months she was in an Athens hospital where she had undergone a surgery to remove a tumor in the larynx.
Vanou was born on February 10, 1939 in Athens, Greece and her real name was Eugenia Vrachnou. She originally intended to study at the Faculty of Physics, but her mentor, famous Greek composer Mimis Plessas, persuaded her to pursue singing. She began her career in 1959 as a singer in the ERT orchestra.
In 1964 she won first prize in the Festival of Thessaloniki, Greece, which catapulted her career to Greek star status. She collaborated with many important Greek singers such as Tolis Voskopoulos and Yannis Vogiatzis and was considered as the muse of several prominent composers such as Mimis Plessas, Mikis Theodorakis, Giorgos Muzakis, Attik, Alekos Chryssovergis and Takis Mousafiris.
With her unique voice, Tzeni Vanou left her mark on the Greek music scene. She was also awarded in Spain, Poland and the Former Soviet Union.