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Gigi D'Alessio

Italian vocalist Gigi D'Alessio became one of his country's most popular singers and songwriters, creating contemporary pop music with a personal outlook and a romantic soul. D'Alessio's vocals communicate a genuine warmth and passion, and his melodies are well served by the expert craft of his recordings. His 1998 commercial breakthrough Passo dopo passo was a mix of introspective ballads and upbeat pop tunes, 2017's 24.02.1967 blended adult alternative pop with electronic production flourishes, and on 2020's Buongiorno he shared the mic with some of Italy's most celebrated rappers. Gigi D'Alessio was born in Naples on February 24, 1967, the last of three siblings. His father often traveled to Venezuela for work, and after one trip he returned with an accordion he bought in Caracas that he gave to his son. D'Alessio quickly took to the instrument, and he became proficient on keyboards, eventually earning a degree at Conservatorio di San Pietro a Majella when he was 21. At 23, he made his way into show business playing piano for vocalist Mario Merola; he also co-wrote the song "Cient'anne" with Merola, which became a major hit. In 1992, D'Alessio stepped out as a solo artist, releasing his debut album, Lasciatemi Cantare, which was successful enough that a second LP, Scivolando verso l'alto, was issued in 1993. 1995's Passo dopo passo became D'Alessio's commercial breakthrough, featuring the hits "Fotomodelle un po' povere" and "Annaré." The album allowed him to move up to larger venues, playing to 20,000 fans in 1997 at Stadio San Paolo in Naples. 1998's E' stato un piacere saw D'Alessio earning a new level of respect as a songwriter while maintaining his high level of popular success, reinforced by his acting debut in the film Annaré, which was a major box-office hit in Italy. 1998 also saw him sign with BMG Records, and his first studio album for the label, Portami con te, was issued in 1999 and featured 11 original songs. In 2000, D'Alessio competed as part of Festival di Sanremo, Italy's leading popular song competition, and earned top honors as the song "Non dirgli mai" became a major hit on radio, while his album Quando la mia vita cambierà went gold in just 15 days. He was also a winner at the 2001 festival with the song "Tu che ne sai," followed by another hit LP, Il cammino dell'età. In 2003, D'Alessio toured the United States, Canada, and Australia for the first time, and in 2004 he released the album Quanti amori (the backing band included King Crimson bassist Tony Levin and Tom Petty drummer Steve Ferrone) as well as publishing his first book, the memoir Non c'è vita da buttare. In 2007, he made a special appearance at the prestigious Parisian venue L'Olympia, a concert that was documented on the DVD Gigi D'Alessio: A l'Olympia Live in Paris. 2008 saw D'Alessio form his own record label, GGD, launching the new venture with the album Questo sono io. In 2011, he returned to the United States for a special concert at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, including guest appearances from Liza Minnelli, Paul Anka, Anastacia, and Sylvester Stallone. D'Alessio celebrated the 20th anniversary of his debut album with the release of not one but two new LPs, Chiaro and Primera Fila, the latter his first Spanish-language collection. He teamed up with his significant other, Anna Tatangelo, to star in a successful television special, Questi siamo noi, in 2013, and the following year, he released the album ORA, which was his first set to top Billboard's World Albums chart. D'Alessio hosted a massive benefit concert in 2015 to support efforts to clean up Terra dei Fuochi, Italy's largest and most dangerous toxic waste dump; the show was attended by 400,000 people. Much of 2016 was devoted to international touring, playing for fans in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and China before returning home for a string of dates in Italy. 2017's 24.02.1967 was an album named for his birthday, released to celebrate turning 50 years old. In 2019, D'Alessio became one of the hosts and mentors of the Italian edition of the music competition series The Voice, and one of his artists, Carmen Pierri, took home the grand prize. 2020's Buongiorno was a unique project in which D'Alessio recorded new versions of his early hits with the participation of some of Italy's best-known rappers, including Clementino, Franco Ricciardi, Enzo Dong, Rocco Hunt, and Geolier. The 2021 single "Guagliune" was another collaboration with Italian hip-hop stars, with an additional album of rap-oriented music expected that same year.
© Mark Deming /TiVo


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