Iconic singer-song­writer Ar­leta dead at age 72

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Athens-born singer-song­writer Ar­leta died yes­ter­day morn­ing at the age of 72 at an Athens hospi­tal where she had been in the in­ten­sive care unit af­ter suf­fer­ing a se­vere stroke. She rose to in­ter­na­tional fame as an icon of the Greek new wave scene. Ar­leta launched her career in the 1960s, singing songs writ­ten by a number of well-known Greek com­posers such as Manos Had­ji­dakis and Mikis Theodor­akis, af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the Athens School of Fine Arts. One of her songs, “I Re­mem­ber a Time When Once You Used to Love Me,” writ­ten by Yiannis Spanos, was cov­ered by Aus­tralian band Dirty Three, which in­cluded it in their “Horse Sto­ries” al­bum in 1996. Ar­leta, whose real name was Ar­giro Niko­letta Ts­apra, also pub­lished a book in 1997 called “How to Get to Spring,” based on her song­writ­ing, and which in­cluded her own il­lus­tra­tions. Ar­leta re­mained ac­tive in her later years, de­spite suf­fer­ing a stroke in 2008 just a few min­utes be­fore a concert in Vo­los, and suf­fer­ing from health prob­lems since then. The stroke had kept her in hospi­tal for six months and left her partly par­a­lyzed for a year.

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