16 May 2019

16 May

Laura Pausini - singer-songwriter

Grammy Award-winner has sold more than 70 million records

Laura Pausini, one of Italy's best-selling recording artists of all time and the the first Italian female performer to win a Grammy Award, born on this day in 1974 in Solarolo, in the province of Ravenna.  Pausini's records have sold more than 70 million copies worldwide, more than both Zucchero and Eros Ramazzotti, two giants of Italian popular music.  The figure is all the more remarkable for the fact that Pausini has only scratched the surface of the English-language market, which is by far the most lucrative.  She records mainly in Italian but has also enjoyed considerable success with recordings in Spanish and, more recently, in Catalan. She is the first non-Spanish artist to sell more than a million copies of a single album in Spain.  Pausini's background and upbringing always made it likely she would pursue a career in the music industry.  Her father, Fabrizio, is a pianist who played as a session musician for Abba's Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Read more…


Massimo Moratti - business tycoon

Billionaire chairman oversaw golden era at Internazionale

The billionaire tycoon and former chairman of the Internazionale football club, Massimo Moratti, was born on this day in 1945 in Bosco Chiesanuova, a small town in the Veneto about 20km (12 miles) north of Verona.  His primary business, the energy provider Saras, of which he is chief executive, owns about 15 per cent of Italy’s oil refining capacity, mainly through the Sarroch refinery on Sardinia, which has a capacity of about 300,000 barrels per day.  Moratti is estimated to have net wealth of about €1.28 billion ($1.4 billion) yet is said to have spent close to €1.5 billion of his personal fortune on buying players during his chairmanship of Inter, which lasted from 1995 until 2013 and encompassed a period of unprecedented success.  Between 2005 and 2011 Inter won the Serie A title five times, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana four times each, the Champions League once and the FIFA World Club cup once.  Read more…


Mario Monicelli - film director

Life’s work put him among greats of Commedia all’Italiana

Mario Monicelli, the director who became known as ‘the father of Commedia all’Italiana’ and was nominated for an Oscar six times, was born on this day in 1915 in Viareggio.  He made more than 70 films, working into his 90s.  He helped advance the careers of actors such as Vittorio Gassman, Marcello Mastroianni and Claudia Cardinale, and forged successful associations with the great comic actors Totò and Alberto Sordi.  Commedia all’Italiana was notable for combining the traditional elements of comedy with social commentary, often addressing some of the most controversial issues of the times and making fun of any organisation, the Catholic Church in particular, perceived to have an earnest sense of self-importance.  The genre’s stories were often heavily laced with sadness and Monicelli’s work won praise for his particular sensitivity to the miseries and joys of Italian life and the foibles of ordinary Italians. Read more…


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