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A bust of Dalida in Montmartre
Background information
Birth name Iolanda Christina Gigliotti
Also known as Yolanda Christina Gigliotti
Born 17 January 1933(1933-01-17)
Cairo, Egypt
Died 3 May 1987 (aged 54)
Paris, France
Genres Chanson, Classical, Pop, Popular Music, Disco, Franco Arabic, Raï, World Music
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1956-1987
Labels Barclay (1956-1977)
Carerre (1978–1987)
Orlando International Shows (1970-1987)[1]
Dalida's Signature.

Dalida (17 January 1933 – 3 May 1987) was an Italian Egyptian singer and actress, naturalised French. Dalida was born and raised in Egypt, but she lived most of her adult life in France. [2] [3] She received 55 gold records and was the first singer to receive a diamond disc. [4] [5]



Early life and beginnings

Yolanda Christina Gigliotti was born in Shoubra, Cairo, Egypt in a middle-class family. Her family was of Italian origin, her grandparents having emigrated at the turn of the century from Calabria, Italy. The middle child between two brothers, Orlando and Bruno (who would later in Dalida's career change his name to Orlando like his other brother and become her manager). Dalida’s father was first violinist (primo violino) at the Cairo Opera. Dalida’s early life was spent in the district of Shoubra, where she attended the Scuola Tecnica Commerciale Maria Ausiliatrice, an Italian Catholic school.

In 1950, Dalida participated in the Miss Ondine beauty pageant and won the title, and shortly after began working as a model for Donna, a Cairo-based fashion house. In 1954, at the age of 19, Dalida competed in and won the Miss Egypt pageant, and was crowned Miss Egypt.[6] It was here she was spotted by French director Marc de Gastyne, and, much to the reluctance of her parents, she moved to Paris on Christmas Eve of the same year with the intention of pursuing a career in motion pictures. It was about this time she adopted the name Dalila, which was shortly thereafter changed to the more familiar Dalida.

Dalida performed and recorded in more than 10 languages including: French, Italian, Arabic, German, Spanish, English, Dutch, Japanese, Hebrew, and Greek. She collected 19 number one hit singles to her name in four languages (French, Italian, German, and Arabic) and has a long list of top 10, and top 20 hits in French, Italian, German, Spanish and Arabic, and accumulated myriad top selling singles and albums largely, in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Canada (Quebec), Russia, Japan, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt, spanning over forty years. Four of Dalida's English language recordings ("Alabama Song", "Money Money", "Let Me Dance Tonight", and "Kalimba de Luna"), gained moderate success primarily in France and Germany, without being widely distributed in the UK and US markets. Worldwide sales of her music are estimated at over 130 million, establishing her as one of the most noteworthy multi-lingual recording artists of the twentieth century.

Some of Dalida's most well known songs are: "Bambino", "Gondolier", "Come prima", "Am tag als der regen kam", "Gli zingari", "Ciao ciao bambina", "Garde-moi la dernière danse," "T'aimer follement", "Romantica", "Les enfants du Pirée", "Milord" (Italian and German versions), "Il silenzio", "La danse de Zorba", "Ciao amore ciao", "Le temps des fleurs", "Bang bang" (Italian version), "Darla dirladada", "Avec le temps", "Je suis malade", "Paroles, paroles" (with Alain Delon), "Il venait d'avoir 18 ans", "Gigi l'amoroso" (French, German, Italian, and Spanish versions), "Mein lieber herr", "Pour ne pas vivre seul", "J'attendrai", "Besame mucho", "Femme est la nuit", "Ti amo", "Rio do Brasil", "Comme disait Minstinguett", "Salma ya salama" (Arabic and French versions), "Helwa ya baladi", "Aghani Aghani", "Ahksan nass", "Laissez-moi danser", "Soleil Soleil", and "Mourir sur scène".

Dalida's mother tongue was Italian, she learned Egyptian-Arabic growing up in Cairo, and acquired fluency in French after establishing herself in Paris in 1954. She later achieved command of the English language as well as reasonable conversational skills in German and Spanish. Dalida also had the aptitude of greeting her fans in basic Japanese.



Dalida’s quest for a career in French cinema proved to be of limited success. Instead, she began taking singing lessons, and was booked as a cabaret act on the Champs Élysées, which proved successful. Performing the song "Étrangère au Paradis" in a variety show at Bruno Coquatrix’ recently-opened Paris Olympia theatre, Dalida was introduced to Lucien Morisse and Eddie Barclay, who played a considerable part in launching the starlet’s career. Morisse was artistic producer of the popular Radio Europe 1, and Barclay an established record producer. After signing a recording contract with Barclay, Dalida’s debut single "Madona" was promoted heavily by Morisse, and was a moderate success. However, the release of "Bambino" in 1956 would prove to be even more triumphant - it spent 46 weeks in the French top ten and remains one of the biggest-selling singles in French history, and for its sales (which exceeded 300,000 copies) Dalida was awarded her first gold disc, presented on 17 September 1957. In the same year, she would also support Charles Aznavour at The Olympia. The follow up single to "Bambino", the exotic-sounding "Gondolier", was released in the Christmas on 1957, was also a great success, as were other early releases such as "Come Prima (Tu Me Donnes)", "Ciao Ciao Bambina", and a cover of The Drifters’ "Save the Last Dance For Me", "Garde-Moi la Dernière Danse".

Dalida toured extensively from 1958 through the early 1960s, playing dates in France, Egypt, Italy and United States. Her tour of Egypt and Italy spread her fame outside of France and Dalida soon became well-known throughout Europe. However, her tour of America was less successful and fame eluded her in English-speaking markets.

In 1961, Dalida performed a month of shows at the Olympia, with each selling out completely.[7] Shortly afterwards Dalida embarked upon a tour of Hong Kong and Vietnam. Throughout the 1960s Dalida would frequently perform sell-out shows at The Olympia, and international dates became more frequent. In December 1968, she was awarded the Médaille de la Présidence de la République by Général de Gaulle, the only person from the music industry to have received this accolade.

The early 1970s became a transitional period for the singer, highlighted by some of her most successful singles. After gaining a keen interest in academia in the mid-1960s she chose to sing songs with more profound lyrics. Bruno Coquatrix was dubious about Dalida’s career evolution, and was hesitant to book her for a series of performances in 1971. Dalida hired the hall herself, and her show was met with an impressive public response. In 1973, a French version of the Italian song "Paroles Paroles", originally performed by Mina, was recorded by Dalida and her close friend Alain Delon. The song became a big hit and was the number one single in France and Japan. The follow up, "Il Venait d’Avoir Dix-Huit Ans", reached number one in nine countries, and sold three and a half million copies in Germany. "Gigi l’Amoroso", released in 1974, would actually perform better in the charts than its predecessor, reaching number one in 12 countries. Touring would follow this period of unprecedented sales, with Dalida performing in Japan, Canada and Germany. In February 1975, French music critics presented the singer with the prestigious Prix de l'Académie du Disque Français.


1976 saw another career reinvention for Dalida; releasing what is widely regarded as the first French disco single, "J’attendrai". Around the same time, the popularity of the variety show in France was soaring, and Dalida made many television appearances during this period, not only in France but across Europe. In 1978, she recorded "Salma Ya Salama", based on a traditional Egyptian folk song, which due to its chart success was translated into Arabic, French, Italian, and German languages.

This and other songs in Arabic by Dalida (such as "Helwa ya baladi" and "Ahksan nass") became extremely popular in Egypt, making Dalida the only Western singer ever to break through the barrier separating Arab and Western music and achieve true success (as opposed to niche popularity) in an Arab country. Her close friend Fairouz was the other major artist to be crossing boundaries but in the opposite directions, from the East to the West with her immense success throughout Europe, North and South America, and Australia.

The success of "Salma Ya Salama" was followed by the first French medley single, "Génération ‘78", a disco-fused combination of her biggest hit singles to date. It also became the first French single to be accompanied by a video clip. During this disco period, Dalida would earn a gay audience, a following which is still maintained today. In November, Dalida performed a Broadway-themed show at Carnegie Hall in New York, choreographed by Lester Wilson, who created the dance routines for John Travolta in the previous year’s cinema smash Saturday Night Fever. Two years later, following the success of "Monday Tuesday... Laissez-Moi Danser" in Summer 1979, she would replicate the show at the Palais des Sports, and each show sold-out, encouraging the singer to embark on a national tour which lasted until the autumn. In the same year, the lengthy "Gigi in Paradisco", a follow-up to the earlier "Gigi l’Amoroso", was released.

1981 marked the release of "Rio do Brasil", and several dates were played at The Olympia, emulating her successful 1980 tour. On the night of her first performance she became the first singer in the world to be awarded with a diamond disc, in recognition of her record sales which at that point in her career had exceeded 86 million. Dalida spent much of 1982 and 1984 on tour, releasing the album "Les P'tits Mots" in 1983 which featured hit singles in both "Lucas" and "Mourir Sur Scène". The album "Dali" was released in 1984, and was accompanied by the release of several singles, including "Soleil", "Pour te dire je t’aime", a cover of Stevie Wonder’s "I Just Called to Say I Love You", and "Kalimba de Luna", originally recorded by Tony Esposito. All three achieved moderate chart success, and her next 1986 album, "Le visage de l'amour", would become her last album of completely new recordings (except the final song being "Mourir sur scène").

Dalida underwent two major ophthalmic operations in 1985, forcing her to put her career on hiatus. In 1986, she would play the role of a young grandmother in the Youssef Chahine film "Le Sixième Jour", for which she received favourable critical response. Her last live performance, took place in Ankara, Turkey, in 1987.

Personal life

Despite enormous career success, Dalida’s private life was marred by a series of failed relationships and personal problems. Her first husband, Lucien Morisse, committed suicide several years after her divorce. Two of her lovers, Luigi Tenco and Richard Chanfray also took their own lives.


On 3 May 1987 Dalida died as a result of an overdose of barbiturates, leaving a suicide note reading "Life has become unbearable ... Forgive me." [8] [9]

Dalida was buried in the famous Montmartre Cemetery (French: Cimetière de Montmartre), Paris, and a life-size statue of her was erected outside her tomb.[10][11]


Since her death, Dalida has become a cult figure to a new generation of fans. In 1988, The Encyclopedia Universalis commissioned a poll which was eventually published in daily newspaper Le Monde, the aim of which was to reveal personalities that had the greatest impact on French society. Dalida polled second, behind Général de Gaulle.

In 1997, the corner of the rues Girardon and Abreuvoir in the Butte Montmartre, Paris, was inaugurated as Place Dalida and a life-size bust to her memory was erected.[12] In 1999, a 3-CD box-set compiling her greatest hits was released. In 2000, Dalida's longtime friend Charles Aznavour recorded the hit "De la scène à la Seine", a joyful song of her life in France, and in 2002, the French government honoured her memory with a postage stamp done in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of her death. In the same year, Universal Music Group released Dalida's early album releases in special-edition packaging, with all of the tracks digitally remastered. Her output has also been the subject of various remix albums. She sold a total of 130 million records from 1956 to 2006. Since her death, many of Dalida's hits have been remixed to modern techno and dance beats, topping the charts in various countries to this day.

In 1999 the play "Solitudini - Luigi Tenco e Dalida", written and directed by Maurizio Valtieri, was performed in Rome.

In 2005, her life was documented in the two-part TV film Dalida, in the role of Dalida was Sabrina Ferilli.[13]

From 11 May to September 2007, the Paris City Hall commemorated the 20th anniversary of Dalida’s death with an exhibition of her outfits and previously unreleased photographs.


This is a chronologically-ordered list of films in which Dalida has appeared.

Year Title Character Director Movie Studio Notes
1954 Joseph et ses frères (France: French title)
aka "Joseph and His Brothers"
Film, starring Omar Sharif (Arabic: عمر الشريف)
1954 Le Masque de Toutankhamon
aka "Le trésor des pharaons" (France)
Dalida Marco de Gastyne Film, starring Gil Vidal and
Samia Gamal (Arabic: سامية جمال‎)
1954 Sigara wa Kass
aka "Un verre et une cigarette"
aka "A Cigarette and a Glass" (International: English title)
aka "A Glass and a Cigarette" ((International (DVD box title) (English title))
Iolanda (as Dalila) Niazi Mostafa Film, starring Samia Gamal (Arabic: سامية جمال‎)
1958 Brigade des mœurs Herself Maurice Boutel Cocifrance
Film, co-starring with Eddy Barclay
1958 Rapt au deuxième bureau
aka "Operation Abduction"
Bella Morena Jean Stelli La Société des Films Sirius
Vega Films
Film, co-starring with Frank Villard
1960 "Che femmina... e che dollari!" (Italy: Italian title)
aka Parlez-moi d'amour (France: French title)
Laura Pisani Giorgio Simonelli Di Gianni Cinematografica
Rialto Film
Film, co-starring with Jacques Sernas
1963 L'inconnue de Hong Kong
aka "Stranger from Hong-Kong" (USA)
aka "The Unknown of Hong Kong" (International: English title: informal title)
Georgia la chanteuse Jacques Poitrenaud Cocinor
Les Films Marceau
Film, co-starring with Serge Gainsbourg and
Tania Béryl
1966 La morale de l'histoire Herself Claude Dagues TV movie
1968 13 jours en France Herself Claude Lelouch and Francois Reichenbach Les Films 13 Documentary about the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. Features Charles de Gaulle, Dalida, Johnny Hallyday and Jean-Claude Killy. Uncredited.
1968 Menage all'italiana
aka "Marriage Italian Style" (International: English title)
Anna Franco Indovina Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica Film, co-starring with Ugo Tognazzi
1968 Io ti amo
aka "I Love You"
aka "Dalida, agapi mou" (Greece: Greek title)
Judy Antonio Margheriti Genesio Productions Film, co-starring with Alberto Lupo
1977 Comme sur des roulettes
aka "As Easy as Pie" (International: English title)
Herself Nina Companéez A.Z. Productions
Société Française de Production (SFP)
Société Nouvelle de Cinématographie (SNC)
1977 Dalida: Pour toujours Herself Michel Dumoulin Documentary
1986 Le sixième jour
aka "The Sixth Day" (International: English title)
aka "Al-yawm al-Sadis" (Arabic title) (Arabic: اليوم السادس)
aka "Der sechste Tag" (Germany: German title)
Saddika Youssef Chahine
(Arabic: يوسف شاهين)
Film, co-starring with Mohsen Mohieddin
1997 Le grand voyage Herself Philippe Kohly Documentary
2005 Dalida: Le Film Dalida
(singing voice)
Joyce Buñuel Ego Productions TV mini-series (film)
singing voice for actress Sabrina Ferilli



  • Dalida, by Michel Delain, Éditions de l'Heure, 1962. (French)
  • Dalida, La gloire et les larmes, by Pascal Sevran, 1976. (French)
  • 25 ans de triomphe, by Christian Page, Delmas Éditeur, 1981. (French)
  • Dalida, by Christian Page, Têtes D'affiche, 1982. (French)
  • Dalida, mon amour, by Anne Gallimard and Orlando, Édition NRJ, 1984. ISBN 2908070014 and ISBN 978-2908070019. (French)
  • Lorsque l’amour s’en va, by Catherine Benoît Sévin, Michel Lafon, 1987; Carrere, 1989. ISBN 2868044069 and ISBN 978-2908070019. (French)
  • Dalida, mon amour, by Anne Gallimard and Orlando, Édition NRJ, 1989. ISBN 2908070014 and ISBN 978-2908070019. (French)
  • Dalida mon amour, by Orlando, Hachette Littérature, 1991. ISBN 2738203620 and ISBN 978-2738203625. (French)
  • Dalida, Histoire d’une femme, by Jean-François Josselin and Jeff Barnel, Jean-Claude Lattès, 1994. ISBN 2709614502 and ISBN 978-2709614504. (French)
  • Les larmes de la gloire, by Bernard Pascuito, Éditions Michel Lafon, 1997. ISBN 284098301X and ISBN 978-2840983019. (French)
  • Dalida, by C. Daccache, Éditions Vade Retro, 1998. ISBN 2909828514 and ISBN 978-2909828510. (French)
  • Dalida: Mon frère, tu écriras mes mémoires, by Catherine Rihoit, Plon, 1998. (French)
  • Dalida, by Catherine Rihoit, Omnibus, 1998. ISBN 2259000835 and ISBN 978-2259000833. (French)
  • Star pour toujours, by Julie Thamin, Gep, 2000. (French)
  • Dalida: Entre violon et amour, by Isaline, Éditions Publibook, 2002. ISBN 2748326296 and ISBN 978-2748326291. (French)
  • Du Nil à la scène, Jacques Brachet, Éditions Va bene and Éditions de la courtine, 2001, 2002. ISBN 2848690070 and ISBN 2913483364. (French)
  • Dalida: Une oeuvre en soi, by Michel Rheault, Nota Bene, 2002. ISBN 289518111X. (French)
  • Luigi Tenco. Vita breve e morte di un genio musicale, by Aldo Fegatelli Colonna, A. Mondadori, 2002. ISBN 880450087 and ISBN 9788804500872. (Italian)
  • Ciao, ciao bambina, by Henri-Jean Servat and Orlando, Éditions Albin Michel, 2003. ISBN 2226142983 and ISBN 978-2226142986. (French)
  • Dalida, by Catherine Rihoit, Plon, re-published 2004. ISBN 2259201806 and ISBN 978-2259201803. (French)
  • D’une rive à l’autre, by David Lelait, Payot, 2004. ISBN 2228899046 and ISBN 978-2228899048. (French)
  • L’argus Dalida: Discographie mondiale et cotations, by Daniel Lesueur, Éditions Alternatives, 2004. ISBN 2862274283 and ISBN 978-2862274287. (French)
  • La véritable Dalida, by Emmanuel Bonini, Éditions Pygmalion, 2004. ISBN 2857049021 and ISBN 978-2857049029. (French)
  • Mademoiselle succès, Barclay France, 2004. UPC 602498110843. (French)
  • Dalida: La femme de cœur, by Jeff Barnel, Éditions du Rocher, 2005. ISBN 2268055000 and ISBN 978-2268055008. (French)
  • Dalida: La voce e l'anima, by Giandomenico Curi, 2005. ISBN 8876416870 and ISBN 978-8876416873. (Italian)
  • Top Dalida, Éditions Paul Beuscher, 2005. ASIN B000ZG64FO. (French)
  • Dalida: La voce, Il suono, L'anima, by Mino Rossi, Edizioni Franciacorta, 2005. ISBN 8889364017 and ISBN 978-8889364017. (Italian)
  • Quasi sera: una storia di Tenco, by A. Montellanico, StampaAlternativa/NuoviEquilibri, 2005. ISBN 8872269105. (Italian)
  • D’une rive à l’autre, by David Lelait-Helo, Éditions J'ai Lu, 2006. ISBN 2290345679 and ISBN 978-2290345672. (French)
  • Ntaainta Dalida, Éditions Odos Panos and 20 ans sans elle, 2006. (French)
  • Dalida passionnément, by Arianne Ravier, Éditions Favre, 2006. ISBN 2828909271 and ISBN 978-2828909277. (French)
  • Dalida, by Henry-Jean Servat and Orlando, Éditions Albin Michel, 2007. ISBN 2226152180 and ISBN 978-2226152183. (French)
  • Dalida, tu m'appelais petite sœur…, by Jacqueline Pitchal, Éditions Carpentier Didier, 2007. ISBN 2841675041 and ISBN 978-2841675043. (French)
  • Dalida: Une vie brûlée, by Bernard Pascuito, L'Archipel, 2007. ISBN 2841879550 and ISBN 978-2841675043. (French)
  • Dalida: Une vie... , by Jacques Pessis, Célina Jauregui, Emmanuel Polle and N-T Binh, Édition Chronique, 2007. ISBN 2205060066 and ISBN 978-2205060065. (French)
  • Dalida: Le temps d'aimer, Fabien Lecœuvre, Éditions City Editions, 2007. ISBN 2352880467 and ISBN 978-2352880462. (French)
  • Luigi Tenco: Ed ora avrei mille cose da fare, by R. Tortarolo and G. Carozzi, Arcana, 2007. ISBN 887966431X and ISBN 978-8879664318. (Italian)
  • Dalida: Ses fans, ses amis ont la parole, by Claire Nérac and Cédric Naïmi, Éditions du Rocher, 2008. ISBN 2268065804 and ISBN 978-2268065809. (French)
  • Mia zia, ma tante Dalida, by Stéphane Julienne and Luigi Gigliotti, Ramsay, 2009. ISBN 2812200111 and ISBN 9782812200113. (French)
  • Internet websites: Hit-Parade France, Hit Parade Italia, Infodisc, Official Montmartre Tourist Information Authority, Dalida Official Website.

Further reading

  • Le sixième jour, by Andrée Chedid, R. Julliard Ed., 1960, republished 1968 (Presses de la Cité), 1971 (Flammarion), 1976 (Le Livre de Poche), 1985 (Collection Castor poche), 1986 (Flammarion), 1989 (Éditions J'ai lu), 1992 (Flammarion) (Collection Vieux Fonds), ISBN 2080605577 and ISBN 978-2080605573, 1994 (Collection Librio), ISBN 2080605577 and ISBN 978-2080605573, 2003 (Flammarion) (Collection Librio), ISBN 2290337374 and ISBN 978-2290337370. (French)
  • 50 ans de chanson française : de Trenet à Bruel, by Lucien Rioux, Éditions L'Archipel, 1992, republished 1994. ISBN 2909241688 and ISBN 978-2909241685. (French)
  • L'Italia di Sanremo, by Gianni Borgna, Mondadori (Milano), 1998. ISBN 8804436387 and ISBN 978-8804436386. (Italian)
  • La chanson française et francophone, by Pierre Saka and Yann Plougastel, Éditions Larousse, 1999. ISBN 2035113466 and ISBN 978-2035113467. (French)
  • Hit-Parades, 1950-1998, by Daniel Lesueur, Éditions Alternatives et Parallèles, 1999. ISBN 2862271837 and ISBN 978-2862271835. (French)
  • Merci les artistes !, by Maritie Carpentier and Gilbert Carpentier, Éditions Anne Carrière, 2001. ISBN 2843371481 and ISBN 978-2843371486. (French)
  • Salut les Sixties, by Jean Peigné, Éditions de Fallois, 2003. ISBN 2877064719 and ISBN 978-2877064712. (French)
  • Olympia. Bruno Coquatrix, 50 ans de Music-Hall, by Jean-Michel Boris, Jean-François Brieu and Eric Didi, Éditions Hors Collection, 2003. ISBN 2258062349 and ISBN 978-2258062344. (French)
  • L'odyssée de la chanson française, by Gilles Verlant, Dominique Duforest and Christian Eudeline, Éditions Hors Collection, 2006. ISBN 2258070872 and ISBN 978-2258070875. (French)
  • Le Roman de l'Olympia, by Pierre Philippe, Les Éditions du Toucan, 2009. ISBN 2810001138 and ISBN 978-2810001132. (French)

Honours, awards and various recognitions (selected)

  • 1950 Won the title of Miss Ondine
  • 1954 Won the Miss Egypt beauty pageant and crowned Miss Egypt 1954
  • 1956 First artist to have her photo on an album single
  • 1957 First artist to be awarded a gold record in France for 300,000 sales of "Bambino".
  • 1958 Radio Monte Carlo Oscar
  • 1958 Receives the Paris Olympia music hall "Bravos" along with Yves Montand, which are equivalent to the current-day "Victoires de la Musique."
  • 1958 First female recording artist to have her own fan club.
  • 1959 Platinum Oscar Award (Italian)
  • 1959 Golden She-Wolf Award (Italian)
  • 1959 Golden Lion Award (German)
  • 1959 French Oscar for best song
  • 1959 Radio Monte Carlo Oscar
  • 1960 Grand Prix for best Italian song
  • 1961 Best Song Oscar with Charles Aznavour
  • 1962 Named Calabrian Citizen of Honour.
  • 1962 Radio Monte Carlo Oscar awarded along with Johnny Hallyday.
  • 1963 Oscar (French) for international success
  • 1963 Juke Box Global Oscar for the year's most-played artist on jukeboxes.
  • 1964 First star to receive a Platinum Disc.
  • 1965 Cico Viola Prize in Brazil for her hit single "Zorba o Greco" and is named favourite French singer in an FOP poll.
  • 1966 Receives Paris Olympia music hall "Bravos"
  • 1967 Golden Caravel Award (Italian)
  • 1968 Canzonissima Oscar (Italian)
  • 1968 Ruby Cross (Croix de Vermeil) (Commander of Arts, Sciences and Letters)
  • 1968 Voted Godmother of Montmartre (Paris) street urchins
  • 1968 Receives Medal of the City of Paris
  • 1968 French President's Medal (Médaille de la Présidence de la République) awarded by President of the French Republic Général de Gaulle on 5 December 1968 (no other artist has ever received this honour).
  • 1969 MIDEM prize in Italy for record sales
  • 1969 Radio Luxembourg Hit Parade Oscar
  • 1970 Second Radio Luxembourg Hit Parade Oscar (Best Performance for sales of Darla dirla dada with 75 000 copies sold in one week).
  • 1972 French Popularity Oscar
  • 1973 APPCB Gold Metal
  • 1974 Golden Gigi and a Golden Heart awarded in Spain for extraordinary sales of Gigi l'amoroso.
  • 1975 Platinum Disc awarded.
  • 1975 Global Oscar Oscar Mondial du Disque for success with "Gigi l'Amoroso" and "Il venait d'avoir dix-huit ans". No. 1 in twelve countries.
  • 1975 Receives eight Oscars at Olympia
  • 1975 Platinum Disc awarded for sales in the Benelux countries.
  • 1975 Golden Lion Award awarded by Germany
  • 1976 French Summer Carnaval Medal
  • 1976 Academy Award for a No. 1 record in nine countries
  • 1976 Voted Woman of the Year in Canada (ahead of Jackie Kennedy)
  • 1977 Dalida is the first artist to record a Raï song in four languages with "Salma ya salama" which becomes the top-selling Raï record in the world.
  • 1977 Egyptian Medal of Honour
  • 1978 First music video with "Génération '78" and the first ever remix single.
  • 1978 Double-Platinum Disc
  • 1979 Croque-Musique Award awarded by Radio Monte Carlo.
  • 1980 Medal of Honour awarded by the City of Graulhet. First female artist in history to perform at the Palais des Sports.
  • 1981 Awarded Diamond disc (for the first time in Music Hall history).
  • 1981 Receives the Goldene Europa (Artist of the Year) (German).
  • 1981 Awarded medal by then French Minister of Defence Charles Hernu.
  • 1984 Refuses the French Legion of Honour award, the highest order of France, the first time Dalida ever refused an award.
  • 1984 Belgian Medal of Honour awarded in Brussels, Belgium.
  • 1985 Favourite French singer ("Télé 7 Jours" magazine).
  • 1985 Canada awards Dalida a medal for talent and wisdom.
  • 1985 Golden Butterfly prize (Turkey).
  • 1987 Dalida Prize (best interpretation in Anatolia).
  • 1987 Commemorative coin with Dalida's effigy is minted by The French Mint, Monnaie de Paris, in gold, bronze and silver. [14] [15]
  • 1990 International Diploma posthumously awarded by the "International Star Registry" (USA), three years after Dalida's death.
  • 1997 Inauguration of "Dalida Square", located at the angle of rues Girardon and Abreuvoirs, in the 18th arrondissement (borough) of Paris, France. Dalida is one of only three women in France to have a statue erected to her, along with Joan of Arc and Sarah Bernhardt.
  • 2001 Second stamp bearing the likeness of Dalida is released by La Poste, the French postal service, as part of the Song Artists series. 10,157,601 copies are sold.
  • 2001 Platinum disc awarded for the double album “40 Golden Hits” with over 300,000 copies sold.
  • 2003 Awarded prize for greatest singer of the century in France, based on three criteria: numbers of album and single sales, number of radio airplays and chart positions Dalida was placed third after Madonna and Céline Dion. In 2003 Dalida remains the number one favourite artist in France.

Art (selection)

  • Jean Sobieski: Dalida (Oil on canvas, 19??)
  • Magguy Crouzet: Dalida (Portrait in dot-sculpture, 1976)
  • Michel Souvais: Dalida, femme est la nuit (Oil on canvas, 1977)
  • Alain Aslan: Dalida (Yolanda Gigliotti), funerary statue (Bronze scuplture, 1987)
  • Alain Aslan: Dalida (Yolanda Gigliotti) (Bronze bust, 1997)
  • Francesco Gallo: Dalida (Yolanda Gigliotti) (Bronze sculpture, 2007)
  • FS62: Dalida (Black and white portrait in acrylic, 2008)

Dalida in contemporary music

  • The Dalida song "Born to Sing" (original French title "Mourir sur scène" and later translated to English, Italian and Spanish) was covered in English by Dalida's long time friend Shirley Bassey, released in 1986 as a B-side of a Towerbell single (A-side: "There's No Place Like London"). Although the recording has never been re-released, Shirley Bassey performed the song in 1995 during some concerts as part of her 40th anniversary world tour. Shirley Bassey's interpretation of "Born to Sing" is also sometimes titled or referred to as "I Was Born to Sing Forever."
  • In 1996, Céline Dion and Alain Delon performed the song "Paroles, paroles" on the 1996 New Year's Eve France 2 television programme.
  • The song "De la scène à la Seine", by Charles Azvanour, from his year 2000 album "Azvanour, 2000" is a tribute to Dalida.
  • In 2000, Sarah Hohn (featuring Wehrlen), released a cover of the song "Paroles, paroles" in tribute to Dalida and Alain Delon.
  • In 2002, an interpretation of the song "Pour ne pas vivre seul", by Firmine Richard, was included in the musical "8 femmes", by François Ozon.
  • In 2004, the song "Laissez-moi danser (Monday Tuesday)" was covered by Star Academy 4 in France, under the shorter name "Laissez-moi danser", in tribute to Dalida.
  • In 2007, Luz Casal released the song "18 años", a new Spanish-language interpretation of "Tenía 18 años", the Spanish version of "Il venait d'avoir 18 ans" (English version: "He Must Have Been Eighteen"), with new Spanish lyrics, in tribute to Dalida, on her album "Vida tóxica".
  • In 2007, Patty Pravo released the tribute album "Spero che ti piaccia... Pour toi", in tribute to Dalida.
  • In 2009, Lara Fabian released the tribute album "Toutes les femmes en moi", containing an interpretation of the song "Il venait d'avoir 18 ans", of which the former is in part tribute, and the latter in tribute to Dalida.

Music from Motion Pictures and TV

The following Dalida songs have appeared in the formentioned motion pictures or TV series.

Year Motion picture Songs Director
1961 Mädchen für die Mambo-Bar
aka "Des filles pour le mambo bar" (France: French title)

aka "$100 a Night" (USA: dubbed version: English title)
aka "Girls for the Mambo-Bar" (UK)

"Am Tag, als der Regen kam" Wolfgang Glück
1979 Série noire "Le Lambeth Walk" Alain Corneau
1984 La Triche "Fini, la comédie" and "Je suis toutes les femmes" Yannick Bellon
1991 Hors la vie (aka "Out of Life") "Salma ya salama" Maroun Bagdadi
1994 Mina Tannenbaum "Il venait d'avoir 18 ans" Martine Dugowson
1995 Gazon Maudit (aka "French Twist") "Salma ya salama" Alain Chabat
1995 Pigalle Unknown Karim Dridi
1996 Pédale douce "Bambino", "Salma ya salama" and "Je suis toutes les femmes" Gabriel Aghion
1996 Un Air de Famille (aka "Family Resemblances" (USA)) "Come prima" Cédric Klapisch
1997 On connaît la chanson
aka "Same Old Song" (USA)
"Paroles, paroles" Alain Resnais
1997 Mémoires d'émigrés "Helwa ya baladi" Yamina Benguigui
1998 A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries
aka "La fille d'un soldat ne pleure jamais" (France)

aka "Soldier's Daughter Never Cries" (Australia: TV title)

"Ciao amore ciao" James Ivory
1999 Novios "Gigi L'Amoroso" Joaquín Oristrell
1999 Recto/Verso "Paroles, paroles" Jean-Marc Longval
1999 Tontaine et Tonton "Il venait d'avoir 18 ans" and "Gigi l'amoroso" Tonie Marshall
1999 Un pont entre deux rives aka "The Bridge" Unknown Gérard Depardieu
2001 Souffle "Buenas noches mi amor" Muriel Coulin and Delphine Coulin
2001 Mauvais genres
aka "Transfixed" (Canada: English title: festival title) (USA)
aka "Bad Genres" (International: English title: festival title)
aka "Gender Bias" (USA)
"Il venait d'avoir 18 ans" Francis Girod
2001 Absolument fabuleux "Il venait d'avoir 18 ans" Gabriel Aghion
2001 C'est la vie "Darla dirladada" Jean-Pierre Améris
2001 Paroles Bibs "Paroles, paroles" Jocelyne Lemaire Darnaud
20XX La Bonne Addresse "Pezzettini di bikini" Gary Goldman
2002 L'Adversaire aka "The Adversary" "Histoire d'un amour" Nicole Garcia
2003 Perduto Amor "Itsi bitsi petit bikini" Franco Battiato
2005 Dalida: Le Film Principal singer on entire soundtrack Joyce Buñuel
2005 L'un reste, l'autre part "Il venait d'avoir 18 ans" Claude Berri
2005 The Secret Life of Words (International: English title) (UK) (USA)
aka "La vida secreta de las palabras" (Spain)
aka "La vida secreta de les paraules" (Spain: Catalan title)
"Histoire d'un amour" Isabel Coixet
2006 OSS 117, Le Caire nid d'espion
aka "OSS 117, Nest of Spies"
"Bambino" Michel Hazanavicius
2007 Michou D'Auber "Bambino" Thomas Gilou
2007 L'Ennemi intime
aka "Intimate Enemies" (Canada: English title)
"Come prima" Florent Emilio Siri
2008 Mesrine : L'Instinct de mort "Romantica" and "La Danse de Zorba" Jean-François Richet

Theatrical productions


  • In 1999 the theatrical production "Solitudini - Luigi Tenco e Dalida", written and directed by Maurizio Valtieri, was performed in Rome.
  • The theatrical production "Dalida: Une Vie", directed by René Simard and under the authorisation of Orlando Productions, was performed from October 2003 to June 2006, in Quebec, Canada, and was shown in Beyrout, Lebanon in May 2004.
  • In 2005, the play "Dalida, à quoi bon vivre au mois de mai ?", written by Joseph Agostini and Caroline Sourrisseau, was performed at the Ateliers Théâtre in Montmartre.

See also


  1. ^ Dalida Discography at, retrieved 2009-12-19
  2. ^ Dalida's Official Website, Biography, retrieved 2009-12-29
  3. ^ Dalida Biography at RFI Musique, retrieved 2009-12-29
  4. ^ Dalida's Official Website, Awards and Achievements, retrieved 2009-12-29
  5. ^ Dalida: Entre violon et amour, by Isaline, Éditions Publibook, 2002, p. 127. ISBN 2748326296 and ISBN 978-2748326291., retrieved 2009-12-29
  6. ^ Dalida Biography at RFI Musique, retrieved 2009-12-29
  7. ^ A month of sold-out shows at the Paris Olympia corresponds to sales of at least 56,000 tickets.
  8. ^ "Dalida". New York Times. 1987-05-05. Retrieved 2008-02-29.  
  9. ^ Simmonds, Jeremy (2008). v. Chicago Review Press. p. 225. ISBN 1556527543.  
  10. ^ "Les Cimetières de Montmartre (The Cemetaries of Montmartre)". Syndicat d'Initiative de Montmartre (Official Montmartre Tourist Information Authority). Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  11. ^ "In the footsteps of Dalida in Montmartre". Syndicat d'Initiative de Montmartre (Official Montmartre Tourist Information Authority). Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  12. ^ "In the footsteps of Dalida in Montmartre". Syndicat d'Initiative de Montmartre (Official Montmartre Tourist Information Authority). Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  13. ^ Internet Movie Database article on Dalida television movie
  14. ^ Monnaie de Paris' Website (French)
  15. ^ Dalida Biography at EVENE France (French)

External links

Preceded by
Antigone Costanda
Miss Egypt
Miss Egypt 1954
Succeeded by
Gladys Leopardi

Simple English

Dalida (real name: Yolande Christina Gigliotti) (January 17, 1933 - May 3, 1987) was an Egyptian-born Italian/French singer and actress.

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