Oscar award-winning Greek composer Vangelis died on Tuesday at the age of 79 in a hospital in Paris, where he was being treated for an undisclosed condition, Vangelis's assistant confirmed.

No cause of death has been released for Vangelis, born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, who was best known as a film composer who won the 1982 Academy Award for "Best Music Original Score" for the soundtrack of the film Chariots of Fire, which also topped the U.S. charts. The following year, he was the composer for Ridley Scott's Blade Runner but did not receive an Oscar for the soundtrack.


Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis mourned the death of Vangelis, calling him an "electronic sound trailblazer."

"Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer among us," Mitsotakis tweeted, saying his death was "sad news for the entire world," according to a translation.

Fellow composer Bear McCreary, known for composing the soundtracks for the 2004 Battlestar Galactica television series, also mourned the death of Vangelis, a "true musical pioneer."

"'Chariots of Fire' and 'Blade Runner' were among the most innovative and influential scores in the history of the medium," McCreary tweeted. "My personal favorite melody of his was 'Conquest of Paradise.' A true musical pioneer. Thank you, Vangelis."

Decca Records, the record label behind Vangelis's last three albums, said Vangelis was a musical genius who would be missed.

"Vangelis created music of extraordinary originality and power and provided the soundtrack to so many of our lives," the company told the Associated Press. "Decca had the pleasure of partnering with Vangelis and his team for his past three albums, and we will miss him enormously. His music will live on forever."


The musical icon was born in Greece and played music in Athens, where he formed his first band, the Forminx. However, he lived the majority of his life in Paris after a coup in Greece in 1967 prompted him to leave the country. In Paris, he co-founded the band Aphrodite's Child, which sold over 20 million copies in Europe. The band's single "Rain and Tears" topped the French, Belgian, and Italian charts and broke the U.K. Top 30 chart.

In the 1970s and '80s, Vangelis focused on scoring music for film and television, deeming pop music "too boring," according to the Guardian. His other works included scoring the Anthony Hopkins drama The Bounty and Mickey Rourke's Francesco, as well as the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia, the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and South Korea, and the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He was nominated for three Grammy Awards but never took home the prize.