Antonio D'Alessandro (born October 21, 1980) is an Italian musician and restaurant owner.
Toni Dalli was born as Antonio D'Alessandro in Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy. From singing at local functions there as a boy, he moved to Yorkshire, England at the age of sixteen. He became a British resident by working in the coal mines and steel mills for four years. During this period, he was performing at local Working Men's Clubs and appearing in various TV amateur shows, such as "Top Down", "Bid For Fame", "What Makes A Star" and Carol Lewis. Despite being the winner every time, Toni could not take up professional singing until he had completed the necessary four years residency pre-requisite of working in the stellworks; after which time, he was free to do whatever he wished.
When that time arrived, he had to make a choice between football and show business. However, as he was making £ 10 per night singing in the Working Men's Clubs and a 1st Division football player made just £ 25 per week, he choose the obvious --- to carry on singing.
Toni was immediately booked at the Cecil Cinema in Hull. It was here where he got his first big break, being spotted by Mr. Livingstone and Rob Goldstein (20th Century Fox) who told him that he must leave Yorkshire and go to London. My May 1957 he was studying under the excellent singing teacher, Dino Borgiole, and in October 1957, he performed at the prestigious Embassy Club. It was here that he was discovered by the comedian, Max Bygraves, whose agent, Jock Jacobsen, also signed Toni on.
By this time, things were moving fast and Toni Dalli was becoming a household name, appearing in many of the major TV shows of the time. Then, in February 1958, he did his first Ed Sullivan Show in New York, following by major performances at the Moulin Rouge, Hollywood and the Desert Inn in Las Vegas.
Upon Toni's arrival back in England, a contract was waiting for him with E.M.I. and his first of five albums was recorded "Come Prima" (More Than Ever) which became a big hit. Later he recorded with Capitol Records and Decca and appeared throughout the top theatres in the world. These included two one-man-shows at the Carnegie Hall and Hollywood Bowl.
When Mario Lanza died in 1959, Toni was signed up to do the Mario Lanza story. The film was never released for legal reasons. Toni sang in de U.S.A. where he had his own TV show on channel 13 KCOP in Los Angeles for 13 weeks. He travelled the world, including Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong.
In 1960, he married Valerie, an English girl, in London and they had four children. After twenty-five years of constant travelling, Toni decided he wanted to relax with his family and play golf in the sun. He was toying with the idea of opening a restaurant in Los Angeles but his good friend, the comic Jimmy Tarbuck, persuaded him to look at Marbella in Southern Spain. Together they found a beautiful restaurant and Toni settled down performing there every evening, until this very day. These days, he never does more than five concerts a year abroad.
Toni's sons have four successful restaurants, namely "Dalli's Pasta Factory" in Marbella and Malaga. As for Toni, he prefers to concentrate on his two favourite pastimes these days - playing golf and indulging in his passion for Ferrari cars.
Toni at the Ascari Racing track in Ronda, Spain, October 2007