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The Festival della canzone italiana (in English: Italian song festival) is a popular Italian song contest running since 1951 and held annually from Teatro Ariston in the city of Sanremo. Usually referred to as Festival di Sanremo, or outside Italy as Sanremo Music Festival, it was the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest.
For some years (from 1953 to 1971, except for 1956) each song was sung twice by two different interpreters (singer or band), each one using an individual orchestral arrangement to illustrate the meaning of the festival as a composers' competition, not a singers' competition. During this era of the festival, it was custom that one version of the song was performed by a native Italian artist while the other version was performed by an international guest artist. The festival has been used as the way of choosing Italy's Eurovision entry from 1956 to 1966, in 1972 and 1997. The festival has also launched the careers of many very famous Italian singers, most notably Andrea Bocelli, Giorgia, Mietta, Elisa, Laura Pausini and Eros Ramazzotti
The Festival is broadcast live on TV Rai Uno in Eurovision Network since 1955. From 1951 to 1954 it was transmitted only on radio RAI.
Critics Award "Mia Martini"
Critics Award "Mia Martini" - Newcomers
- 1984: Santandrea -"La fenice"
- 1985: - Ex aequo -
- Mango - "Il viaggio"
- Cristiano De André - "Bella più di me"
- 1986: Lena Biolcati - "Grande grande amore"
- 1987: Paola Turci - "Primo tango"
- 1988: Paola Turci - "Sarò bellissima"
- 1989: Mietta - "Canzoni"
- 1990: Marco Masini - "Disperato"
- 1991: Timoria - "L'uomo che ride"
- 1992: Aereoplanitaliani - "Zitti zitti (Il silenzio è d'oro)"
- 1993: Angela Baraldi - "A piedi nudi"
- 1994: Baraonna - "I giardini d'Alhambra"
- 1995: Gloria - "Le voci di dentro"
- 1996: Marina Rei - "Al di là di questi anni"
- 1997: Niccolò Fabi - "Capelli"
- 1998: Eramo & Passavanti - "Senza confini"
- 1999: Quintorigo - "Rospo"
- 2000: - Ex aequo -
- Lythium - "Noël"
- Jenny B - "Semplice sai"
- 2002: Archinuè - "La marcia dei santi"
- 2003: Patrizia Laquidara - "Lividi e fiori"
- 2007: Fabrizio Moro - "Pensa"
- 2008: Frank Head - "Para parà rara"
- 2009: Arisa - "Sincerità"
- 2010: Nina Zilli - "L'uomo che amava le donne"
Notable foreign duet singers
Notable guest artists of that time were, among others:
- 1964: Peggy March, team partner of Claudio Villa with "Passo su passo", semi-finals only, not qualified for main event
- 1965: Connie Francis, team partner of Gigliola Cinquetti "Ho bisogno di vederti", # 5
- 1965: Petula Clark, team partner of Betty Curtis with "Invece no", # 6
- 1965: Dusty Springfield, team partner of Gianni Mascolo with "Di fronte all'amore", semi-finals only, not qualified for main event
- 1966: Gene Pitney, team partner of Caterina Caselli with "Nessuno mi può giudicare, # 2
- 1966: Pat Boone, team partner of Peppino Gagliardi with "Se tu non fossi qui", # 14
- 1967: Dalida, team partner of Luigi Tenco with "Ciao, amore ciao", semi-finals only, not qualified for main event
- 1968: Roberto Carlos, team partner of Sergio Endrigo with "Canzone per te", # 1
- 1968: Bobbie Gentry, team partner of Al Bano with "La siepe", # 9
- 1968: Dionne Warwick, team partner of Tony del Monaco with "La voce del silenzio", # 14
- 1968: Louis Armstrong, team partner of Lara Saint Paul with "Mi va di cantare", # 13
- 1968: Wilson Pickett, team partner of Fausto Leali with "Deborah", # 4
- 1969: Mary Hopkin, team Partner of Sergio Endrigo with "Lontano dagli occhi, # 2
- 1969: Stevie Wonder, team partner of Gabriella Ferri with "Se tu ragazzo mio", semi-finals only, not qualified for main event
- 1971: José Feliciano, team Partner of Ricchi e Poveri with "Che sarà", # 2
- The song "Perdere l'amore" was proposed in 1987 by Gianni Nazzaro and rejected in the preliminary song screening. A year later it was proposed by Massimo Ranieri and won the contest.
- In 1990 Patty Pravo turned down the opportunity to sing "Donna con te" at the Sanremo Festival (which in the event was sung by Anna Oxa).
- In 2007, the song "Bruci la città" was rejected in the screening, mainly as a decision of that year's artistic director Pippo Baudo (later on, Baudo explained that he did not like the song at the time because it was sung by its writer, Francesco Bianconi from the band Baustelle, who is not really well known for having a nice voice). However, the song was offered to Irene Grandi shortly after the contest, and became a big hit for her. Bianconi and Grandi also wrote Grandi's entry for 2010, La cometa di Halley (Halley's Comet).
- ^ Festival di Sanremo 1988
- ^ Patty Pravo Biography