Sotiria Bellou (1921-1997) was a famous Greek singer and performer of the Greek rebetiko type of music .
Bellou was not only a talented singer, but a political activist too. Being such an opinionated and strong personality, she joined the Greek Resistance against the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. She was caught by the Nazis, tortured and then put in prison. In 1944 she participated in the Dekemvriana as a member of the National People's Liberation Army (Ethnikos Laikos Apeleftherotikos Stratos, or ELAS) ELAS. During the civil war she supported the leftists and she was caught at least once and kept in detention. Members of extreme right groups have never forgiven her political stance and in one incident they visited the club where she was singing and demanded that she sing a famous right wing song. After her refusal she was beaten. In her personal life, she had two big weaknesses: gambling and alcohol that eventually led her to poverty and caused her mental problems. She has been treated in a psychiatric clinic on at least one occasion.
Her talent has attracted many celebrities and she had many famous fans. Among them was the famous Greek painter Yannis Tsarouchis who would burst into tears each time he listened to her unique voice. Although she was particularly admired by artists, critics and public she was alone and ignored towards the end of her life. Only a handful of people supported her in the last stages of her year-long fight with cancer. Paradoxically, the government never honoured her during her lifetime, perhaps due to her controversial personality. Only after her death was she acknowledged as one of the most original Rebetiko voices that Greece has ever produced.