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Gigliola Cinquetti

Gigliola Cinquetti
File:Gigliola Cinquetti (1966).jpg
Gigliola Cinquetti in 1966
Background information
Born (1947-12-20) 20 December 1947 (age 72)
Origin Verona, Veneto, Italy
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Years active 1963–Present

Gigliola Cinquetti (Italian pronunciation: [dʒiʎˈʎɔla tʃiŋˈkwetti]; born 20 December 1947) is an Italian singer, TV presenter.


Cinquetti was born in Verona, Veneto. At the age of 16 she won the Sanremo Music Festival in 1964 singing "Non ho l'età" ("I'm Not Old Enough"), with music composed by Nicola Salerno and lyrics by Mario Panzeri. Her win enabled her to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1964 in Copenhagen with the same song, where she claimed her country's first ever victory in the event. The song became an international success, even entering UK Singles Chart,[1] traditionally unusual for Italian material. It sold over three million copies, and was awarded a platinum disc in August 1964.[2] In 1966, she recorded "Dio, come ti amo" ("God, How I Love You"), which became another worldwide hit.[citation needed]

In 1974 Gigliola Cinquetti entered the Eurovision Song Contest again, this time held in Brighton, Sussex, England. The song was called "Sì" (which became quite controversial in Italy at the time, with the impending divorce referendum in the offing), and came second to Swedish foursome ABBA with their song "Waterloo". Gigliola Cinquetti scored an even bigger UK hit single than she had ten years earlier, with "Sì" peaking at No. 8.

Sanremo performances

In the following occasions, Gigliola Cinquetti performed at the Sanremo Music Festival

  • 1964 "Non ho l'età (Per amarti)" – with Patricia Carli
  • 1965 "Ho bisogno di vederti" – with Connie Francis
  • 1966 "Dio come ti amo" – with Domenico Modugno
  • 1968 "Sera" – with Giuliana Valci
  • 1969 "La pioggia" – with France Gall
  • 1970 "Romantico blues" with Bobby Solo
  • 1971 "Rose nel buio" – with Ray Conniff
  • 1972 "Gira l'amore (Caro bebè)"
  • 1973 "Mistero"
  • 1985 "Chiamalo amore"'
  • 1989 "Ciao"
  • 1995 "Giovane vecchio cuore"

Censored in 1974

She returned to fame in Eurovision Song Contest 1974, again representing Italy. Performing the song "" ("Yes"), the music and lyrics of which were written by Mario Panzeri, Daniele Pace, Lorenzo Pilat and Carrado Conti, she finished second behind "Waterloo", sung by Sweden's ABBA.

According to author and historian, John Kennedy O'Connor's, The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History, the live telecast of her song was banned in her home country by the Italian national broadcaster RAI, as the event partially coincided with the campaigning for the 1974 Italian referendum on divorce which was held a month later in May.[3]

RAI censored the song because of concerns that the name and lyrics of the song (which constantly repeated the word 'Sì') could be accused of being a subliminal message and a form of propaganda to influence the Italian voting public to vote 'Yes' in the referendum.[4] The song remained censored on most Italian state TV and radio stations for over a month.

An English language version of the song, "Go (Before You Break My Heart)", reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart in June 1974.[1][5]

Later career

One of her other songs, "Alle Porte del Sole" (released in 1973), was re-recorded in English (as "Door of the Sun") and Italian by Al Martino, two years after its initial release, and reached No. 17 on Billboard's Hot 100 in the United States. Cinquetti's own English version of the song was released as a single by CBS Records in August 1974, with her original 1973 Italian version on the B-side.

Cinquetti went on to co-host the Eurovision Song Contest 1991 with Toto Cutugno, who had brought the event to Italy with his victory in Zagreb the previous year – the country's first win in the contest since her own twenty-six years earlier.

In the 1990s she became a professional journalist and TV presenter, and she currently hosts the current affairs programme Italia Rai on RAI International.

Selected discography

  • Perfect Best, compilation album

Single A-sides


See also


  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 107. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 173. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  3. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  4. ^ "Webmaster's Countdown". Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
23x15px Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann
with "Dansevise"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
23x15px France Gall
with "Poupée de cire, poupée de son"
Preceded by
Emilio Pericoli
with "Uno per tutte
Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Bobby Solo
with "Se piangi, se ridi"
Preceded by
Massimo Ranieri
with "Chi sarà con te"
Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Wess and Dori Ghezzi
with "Era"
Preceded by
23x15px Helga Vlahović and Oliver Mlakar
Eurovision Song Contest presenter
(with Toto Cutugno)
Succeeded by
23x15px Lydia Cappolicchio and Harald Treutiger

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