Gianna Nannini (born 14 June 1954) is an Italian singer-songwriter and musician. Her most notable songs include “America” (1979), “Fotoromanza” (1984) and “Bello e impossibile” (1986), the latter an international hit in Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
Nannini was born in Siena on 14 June 1954. She is the elder sister of former Formula One racing driver Alessandro Nannini. She studied piano and composition in Milan in the late 1970s and obtained a degree in Philosophy from the University of Siena in 1994. The following year she took part in a protest organized by Greenpeace at the French embassy in Rome against the decision of the French government to pursue nuclear experiments at Mururoa.
Nannini scored her first domestic hit in 1979 with the single “America” and the album California, which became a success in several European countries. Her international breakthrough happened in 1984 with the release of her sixth album, the Conny Plank-produced Puzzle, which peaked in the top 10 in the Italian, German, Austrian and Swiss charts. The first single from the album, “Fotoromanza”, was supported by a music video directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, and went on to win many musical awards. Nannini embarked on a long European tour to support the album, culminating in a headlining gig at the Montreux Jazz Festival. In 1986, her song “Bello e impossibile” was a European hit in Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Her 1987 compilation album Maschi e Altri sold over a million copies. In 2004, she released the greatest hits album Perle, where a number of her most renowned songs were rearrangemed with the support of musicians such as Christian Lohr on piano (who also had a co-producer credit), and a string quartet composed of Vincenzo di Donna (first violin), Luigi de Maio (second violin), Gerardo Morrone (viola) and Antonio di Franca (violoncello). With this orchestra Nannini went on a European tour from 2004 to 2005. The album Grazie was released in February 2006, and peaked at number one of the Italian hit-parade with the single “Sei nell’anima”. In April 2007, Nannini released Pia come la canto io, a collection of songs produced by Wil Malone and originally intended for a rock opera based on the medieval Tuscan character Pia de’ Tolomei (briefly mentioned in Dante’s Purgatorio) that would eventually be performed in 2008 after eleven years of gestation. An acoustic version of her song Meravigliosa Creatura (from Perle) has been used in a 2008 advertisement commercial for the Fiat Bravo directed by Matthias Zentner. Fiat would later include another Gianna Nannini song, “Aria”, in a subsequent Fiat Bravo ad.
In 1987 she performed with Sting and Jack Bruce the “Three Penny Opera” by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill at the Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. In 1990, she and Edoardo Bennato sang “Un’estate italiana”, the official song of the Football World Cup 1990 composed by Giorgio Moroder. In September 2006, she recorded the single “Ama Credi E Vai” with Andrea Bocelli. Nannini was also featured on Einstürzende Neubauten member Alexander Hacke’s solo album Sanctuary, on the track “Per Sempre Butterfly”. In 2008 she duetted with the Italian rapper Fabri Fibra in his videoclip version of the song “In Italia”. She also sang the song “Aria” with the Macedonian vocalist Toše Proeski.
Band current lineup
Gianna Nannini – vocals, guitar, violin, piano
Milton Mcdonald – guitar, backing vocals
Davide Ferrario – keyboards, backing vocals
Davide Tagliapietra – guitar, backing vocals
Mylious Johnson – drums
Alex Kilier – bass
Will Malone – producer, musical director