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Italian pop culture icon Gianni Morandi worked his way up from the bottom of the entertainment industry. Born in 1944, as a child Morandi sold soda and candies at the local movie theater in his native town of Monghidoro to make ends meet. He made his performance debut at age 12, singing in the public square on New Year's Day, 1956. His noticeable musical talent caused his parents to move him from traditional schooling to a school in Bologna, where he studied song and performance with master vocalist Alda Scaglioni. He made his official debut in 1958 in Alfonsine, Ravenna; three years later Morandi formed a band, and was soon referred to as the Italian Paul Anka. In 1962, Morandi won a small talent competition where he met and impressed boxing and entertainment promoter Paul Lionetti, who arranged an audience with RCA executives. That same year, the world was introduced to Morandi via his premier 45, "Andavo a Cento All'ora." Morandi's popularity blossomed in 1969 with his win at the Canzonissima Festival. Although he experienced a slight decline in popularity during the 1970s, the next decade was a great era for Morandi, punctuated with his winning performance at the prestigious Sanremo Festival in 1987. Over the course of his career, it is estimated that Morandi has sold more than 30 million records. In addition to a successful recording career, Morandi has appeared in 18 films and played a number of popular television roles. Having enjoyed four decades of unmatched success, Gianni Morandi is among Italy's greatest performers of all time.
Gianni Morandi (born Gian Luigi Morandi; 11 December 1944) is an Italian pop singer, actor and entertainer.
Gianni Morandi was born in a little village called Monghidoro on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. His father Renato was active within the Italian Communist Party and Gianni used to help him sell the party newspapers. At an early age Morandi worked as a shoe-shiner, cobbler and as a candy vendor in the village's only cinema. His vocal abilities led him to a number of small gigs, some of which were during the Communist Party’s activities.
He made his debut in 1962 and quickly placed high at or won a number of Italian popular song festivals, including the Canzonissima festival in 1969. In 1962 he was signed by RCA Italiana and achieved national stardom with the song "Fatti mandare dalla mamma", and remained Italy’s darling throughout that decade.
In 1970, he represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest with "Occhi di ragazza". His career went into a decline in the 1970s but underwent a revival in the 1980s. He won the Festival of Sanremo in 1987 with "Si può dare di più" together with Enrico Ruggeri and Umberto Tozzi, placed second in 1995 and third in 2000.
It is estimated that Morandi has sold 50 million recordings.
His songs "In ginocchio da te", "Non son degno di te" and "Scende la pioggia" were certified as having each sold over one million copies, and were awarded gold discs. He has written a number of autobiographical books and appeared in 18 films. In TV he played Claude Jade's husband Davide in the 1984 TV series Voglia di volare.
He also played as actor in several TV series, as well as the host in popular Italian television shows.
In 1966 he married actress Laura Efrikian, with whom he played in several Musicarelli films together. The couple divorced in 1979.
Morandi was chosen to be the presenter of Sanremo Music Festival 2011, together with Belén Rodriguez and Elisabetta Canalis. They were joined by comedians Luca Bizzarri and Paolo Kessisoglu from Italia 1's satire show Le Iene. In October 2011, he was confirmed as the presenter of the Sanremo Music Festival 2012.
Gianni Morandi has been honorary president of Bologna Football Club 1909 since 2010."Gianni Morandi in numeri - Pop - News - Virgilio Musica". Musica.virgilio.it. 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2012-11-10. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 179 & 264. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. Enrico Lancia, Roberto Poppi. Dizionario del cinema italiano - Le Attrici. Gremese Editore, 2003. ISBN 888440214X. Vivì Zizzo (1 February 2011). "Laura Efrikian torna a parlare. Intervista esclusiva alla prima moglie di Gianni Morandi". Oggi. Retrieved 8 January 2014. Renato Franco (5 10 2010). "Festival di Sanremo, ok a Morandi. Ci saranno anche Belen ed Elisabetta". Corriere della Sera (in Italian) (Italy). p. 41. Retrieved 6 February 2011. Check date values in: |date= (help) "Il Morandi bis sul palco di Sanremo. Adesso è ufficiale: lo condurrò io". La Stampa (in Italian). 13 October 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2012.