One of the greatest, most popular and successful Greek singers, Yorgos Dalaras, was born in Piraeus in 1949.
Son of Loukas Daralas who was a rebetiko singer -Yorgos changed his last name when he became a singer- he was raised in a really poor family.
At the age of fifteen he recorded his first song – it was an amateur recording of him singing accompanied by his father. By the age of seventeen he had already chosen the career of a singer.
Rejected in auditions either because he was too young or because he wasn’t considered as talented enough, Yorgos Dalaras signed his first contract with MINOS Record Company, after Minos Matsas, the owner of the company, heard him sing and got thrilled with his voice, in 1967. A year later, Yorgos Dalaras made his first record with songs written by great Greek music and lyrics composers.
In the years that followed, he worked with some of the most distinguished Greek composers, Manos Hatzidakis, Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Loizos, Stavros Kouyioumtzis, Apostolos Kaldaras, Stavros Xarchacos and Thanos Mikroutsikos, being some of them.
Yorgos Dalaras can also take pride in having worked with some of the greatest music composers and singers in the world music stage: in 1986 and 1988 Yorgos Dalaras appears with Paco de Lucia in a concert and two music festivals. In 1988 and while Dalaras is on tour in the USA, Al di Meola joins him in his concert in Madison Square Theater. The two artists will meet again in various music events.
In 1988 the concert of the International Amnesty takes place in the Olympic Stadium of Athens. Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Tracey Chapman and Yorgos Dalaras meet on the same stage. During the same period, Dalaras has a very successful collaboration with Goran Bregoviz sealed by a great top hit record.
In 1992 Dalaras participates in Jethro Talls’ concert in Athens with the song he sings along with Ian Anderson being included in the band’s next record. Dalaras’ duet with Sting singing “Mad about you” was included in Dalaras’ record “Running Road” (“I asfaltos pou trehei”), released worldwide in 2001.
A singer whose concerts are usually sold out, Dalaras is also actively involved in charity and has always been sensitive towards oppressed minorities, refugees and generally people in need. In 2006 he was made Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Union.
His exceptional voice along with his taste for the new and the inconvenient allowed him to interpret a wide variety of songs, ranging from rebetiko and traditional songs to contemporary folk and pop songs. In Greece it’s almost like a common joke: “Isn’t there anything that Dalaras hasn’t sung?”
Having sold more than 10,000,000 records, with his songs being top hits and considered as classic today, Yorgos Dalaras is the case of the artist who brilliantly combines sophisticated art with commercial success.
George Dalaras is married with Anna Dalara, former deputy of the Greek Parliament, and they have got a daughter.