Yiannis Ploutarhos was born as Giannis Kakossaios on 18 December 1970 in the small village of Mavrogia, outside Orchomenos. Ploutarhos comes from a poor rural family, which long struggled to make ends meet. He first started singing at age six, while his whole family would sing while working to get through the day. His first musical influences came from Dimotiká and traditional Byzantine music. Ploutarhos lived there until the age of sixteen, at which point he decided to move to Athens to pursue his dream of becoming a singer. He had told his family he wanted to move the Athens to study Hairdressing.

Once in Athens, Ploutarhos began working during the day at a hair salon while singing at clubs at night. His first gig was at a small club in Korydallos. Disappointed by the prevailing conditions in the music business, he abandoned singing twice and pursued other occupations to support himself. Despite previous disappointments, Ploutarhos’ love of music pushed him back into the business and just two years after his first performance, he started appearing at club Rodolfo, which was followed by appearances at bigger clubs such as Neraida, Fantasia, and Tonel where he collaborated with well known laïka names such as Giannis Poulopoulos, Rita Sakellariou, Themis Adamantidis, as well as Contemporary aïka artists such as Stelios Rokkos and Giorgos Mazonakis. Around that time, Ploutarhos came into contact with Dimitris Kordatzis and Ilias Filippou who believed in his talent, and got him in touch with his first producer Girgos Makrakis, who is credited with inspiring his stage last name “Ploutarhos”.

In late 1998, Ploutarhos signed with Minos EMI and shortly after released his debut album titled Mono Esi (Only you), which received moderate success. From the album, “Enas Theos” (One god) became a hit, which is still considered one of his most popular songs to date. After his first album, he was featured in a duet titled “I Kardia Mou Einai Zalismeni” (My heart is dazed) with Konstantina on her album Simeio Epafis, while he was also featured in a duet with Stratos Dionysiou on the song “Orestiada” from his album Epivalletai. In 2000, he released his second album titled Ipirhan Orki (There were promises), which featured a number of hits. The album was certified gold, making him widely known and catapulting his career to new heights, and eventually leading sales to platinum status. A year later in 2001 he released his third album titled Mikres Fotografies (Small pictures), which sold over 150,000 units, and included a number of songs written by himself. At the 2002 Arion Music Awards, Ploutarhos received five awards, including “Singer of the year”, “Best laiko singer”, as well as “Album of the year”, “Best laiko album”, and “Best video-clip” for his album Mikres Fotografies and songs off of it.

In 2002 he released his fourth studio album titled Den Einai O Erotas…Paidi Tis Logikis (Love is not….a child of logic) which was later re-released in 2003 with the inclusion of bonus tracks and a DVD. The album was eventually certified 3x platinum. That same year in 2003, Ploutarhos released his fifth studio album Pai Ligos Kairos (Some time has passed by…), which was also certified 3x platinum. The album was re-released in 2004 with the inclusion of a bonus song, a cover of the popular song “An Thimitheis T’ Oneiro Mou” by Mikis Theodorakis. At the same time, Ploutarhos broke records for continuous appearances at a venue, appearing at club Poseidonio as part of a concert series for one whole calendar year without interruption.

In 2005 Ploutarhos embarked on his first world tour, with shows in Toronto, Atlantic City, Boston, New York City, Chicago, Melbourne, Sydney, Johannesburg, and Nicosia. Upon return to Greece, he released his sixth studio album titled Ola Se Sena Ta Vrika (I’ve found it all in you), which was a commercial success. The album was eventually certified 2x platinum.
On 18 September 2006, he released his seventh studio album titled Krimmena Mistika (Hidden secrets), which sold more than 40,000 units and was certified Platinum in its first week. The album was also released in a special edition form with the inclusion of a bonus DVD, while few days later on 20 September, Ploutarhos began appearances at club Kentro Athinon. The album, which also featured a duet with Kostantina titled “Ti Bike Anamesa Mas;” (What came between us?), was eventually certified 2x platinum.

A greatest hits album titled Stigmes (Moments) followed in 2007, which included six new songs and a bonus DVD. The album was eventually certified Platinum, exceeding sales of 40,000 units. In October 2007, Ploutarhos embarked on a mini US tour, performing in Toronto, New York, Montreal, and Foxwoods. Upon his return to Greece, Ploutarhos started appearing in a concert series at club Kentro Athinon alongside Apostolia Zoi, Tamta and Giannis Vardis on 25 October.
In June 2008, Ploutarhos released his eight studio album titled O,ti Gennietai Stin Psihi (Whatever is born in the soul), which was also certified 2x platinum. On 17 July, he started appearances at club Politeia in Thessaloniki. In December 2008, he started appearances at club REX. A few days later on 22 December 2008, Plourahos performed a charity concert for children with disabilities at club REX. In May 2009, Ploutarhos traveled to Australia to perform two charity concerts in Sydney and Melbourne. That summer, Ploutarhos partnered with MAD Greekz and embarked on his first major tour around Greece. In October of the same year, Ploutarhos held concerts in London and Cyprus. He continued touring, and in January 2010, toured North American performing in Vancouver, Foxwoods, Montreal, Atlantic City, Chicago, Toronto, and Sacramento.
On 22 March 2010, Ploutarhos released his ninth studio album titled Prosopika Dedomena. The album was released in record stores and at Newsstands, and quickly sold out forcing his label to reissued the album. It was eventually certified 6x platinum. In April of the same year, he started appearing at club ACRO, while for the winter season 2010–2011 he started performing at club CosmoStage.

In December 2010, Ploutarhos left his long time label Minos EMI, and signed with Heaven Music. Shortly after, he announced a joint project with Italian singer Albano Carrisi. On 24 January 2011, their first single titled “Me Mia Matia/Felicita” (With one look/Happiness) was released to radio stations, featuring verses in both Greek and Italian. On 6 February 2011, Ploutarhos released a joint album with Carrisi titled Dio Fones-Mia Psihi (Two Voices-One Soul) in Greece as a covermount with Proto Thema. Proto Thema sold over 160,000 copies, selling out completely in just a few hours. A standard retail released followed on 7 February 2011, with two bonus songs included. On 17 February 2011, Ploutarhos took part in the Sanremo Music Festival along side Albano Carrisi and Spanish operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé. The trio performed a famous chorus piece titled “Va, pensiero” from the opera Nabucco written by Giuseppe Verdi. Ploutarhos’ appearance mark the first time a Greek singer has ever performed at Sanremo Music Festival.

On November 22, 2011, Ploutarhos released his eleventh studio album titled I Dinami Tou Erota (The Strength of Love).
As of 2011, Ploutarhos and his wife have been together for 23 years, and have five children together. He is distinguished by his low profile and modesty despite the success he has received. Plouarhos has stated that he respects and appreciates his fans, and tries to watch his behavior as he believes every artist should be a role model for their fans, especially young fans.