12 Famous Italian Singers

Italy is not only home to amazing cities, regions, beaches and cuisine, it’s also a hotbed of musical creativity.

We all know some of the most famous opera singers have emerged from the country, but did you know there are contemporary rock bands and rappers, too?

Read this post to see my list of the 12 best and most famous Italian singers of today and yesterday.

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1. Luciano Pavarotti

He’s one of the most acclaimed tenors of the 20th century, best loved for his operas, arias and collaborations with pop artists like Elton John, Bono and Sting. His stint with the Three Tenors (Plácido Domingo and José Carreras being the other two) was hugely successful and further cemented his legend as an opera singer.

Pavarotti could fill a room with his powerful voice—talk about pristine diction and enunciation! In addition, the force of his charm and personality could captivate an audience for a whole evening.

2. Andrea Bocelli

Had his parents heeded the doctor’s advice, there would never have been an Andrea Bocelli. He was supposed to have been aborted because it was determined that he would be born with a disability.

His personal story just gets more interesting from there. As a boy he had severe problems with his vision and was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma. At the age of twelve, he completely lost his sight following a football accident. But he didn’t let that stop him from earning a law degree later in life.

His first love is music and today Andrea Bocelli is not only the darling of the opera-going crowd, he’s also a crossover act who has sung together with famous pop artists like Ariana Grande, Nicole Scherzinger and Jennifer Lopez.

3. Mina

To prove that great songs and great artists are timeless, we’re going to go back several decades for this one, to a time when they didn’t have iPhones or self-driving cars.

Not many artists have the longevity of Mina Mazzini or Anna Maria Quaini. She’s the only artist who has landed a top album for five consecutive decades, ever since the Italian music charts started in 1965.

She was a dominant face in Italian pop music in the ’60s and ’70s. Her voice was a real force, spanning three octaves. Louis Armstrong described her as the “greatest white singer in the world.”

4. Laura Pausini

Laura Pausini was already hamming it up at local singing contests when she was discovered by a music producer. She vaulted to fame in 1993 after winning the newcomer’s category at the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival.

The following year, she entered the “Big Artists” category and won third place.

Laura Pausini isn’t just a star in her home country. She’s also made it big in countries like Spain, France, The Netherlands and Belgium. And for language learners looking for inspiration, check this out: In addition to her songs in Italian, Laura has recorded songs in French, English, Portuguese and Catalan, among other languages.

The song that won her third place in the 1994 Sanremo Music Festival was “Strani Amori” (“Strange Loves”).

5. Patty Pravo

Patty Pravo is the third-best-selling Italian artist of all time. Since she started her illustrious career in 1966, she reportedly has sold around 110 million records. She’s a constant figure at the Sanremo Music Festival, having participated in it a total of nine times.

It wasn’t all bright skies for the woman originally born as Nicoletta Strambelli. She was big in the ’60s and ’70s but suffered a decline in popularity after then. But she got her second wind as she came roaring back in the ’90s with consecutive hit albums and a world tour.

One of her best songs, and one that helped cement her status, is “La Bambola” (“The Doll”), released in 1968. It stayed at the top spot on the Italian music charts for six consecutive weeks.

6. Umberto Tozzi

Umberto Tozzi—singer-songwriter, musician, composer, record producer—is a bona fide star of Italian music.

Imagine having a song that stays at the number one spot for seven months. Not only that, it also swept Europe and catapulted to the top spot in Sweden, Switzerland and France.

The song was “Ti Amo” (“I Love You”), which has since been translated into various languages and covered by many international artists. The song will also be a hit for language learners, especially when you get down to the message and lyrics of the song. It’s very poetic and raw at the same time.

7. Eros Ramazzotti

Eros has come a long way. He was a terribly shy fellow who would have rather gone hungry than eat alone at a restaurant, but now he’s shared the stage with Rod Stewart, Elton John, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Cher and Andrea Bocelli. He’s also been the musical guest for shows like “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “Good Morning America.” He has won the “Best Italian Artist Award” three times, and is a multi-platinum act.

His unique voice and the intensity with which he sings and performs his songs pull his audiences into the story and into the world of his songs. It’s no wonder he found success all over Europe and has sold out venues like the Kremlin Palace Concert Hall for three straight dates.

8. Fedez

Federico Leonardo Lucia—better known as Fedez—is one of the most popular rappers and songwriters in Italy today. His music is often a blend of rap, pop, and rock, and always makes for excellent radio material!

Alongside being one of the most recognizable mainstream rappers in the country, Fedez is also known for being outspoken and something of a social/political activist. He has acted as an advocate for various causes, including LGBTQ+ rights and mental health awareness. 

9. Måneskin

Måneskin is an Italian rock band formed in 2016. It’s hard to believe now, with how hard it can be to get tickets to see them live, but Måneskin actually started out playing their music in the streets of Rome. For free!

It’s only in 2021 that the band came to receive international recognition, following their victory in that year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Their high-energy blend of glam rock and hard rock is sure to kick-start your language learning, as most of their lyrics are still in Italian. And even after becoming mainstream, they haven’t lost their rebellious vibe. 

10. Sfera Ebbasta

If rap and street-wise lyrics are more your thing, you’ll love Sfera Ebbasta. This young Italian rapper, singer, and songwriter is responsible for several chart-topping singles and albums, and one listen to his songs will tell you why!

To start at the beginning, listen to Sfera’s debut 2016 album “XDVR.” This first record was swiftly followed by another two (“Sfera Ebbasta” and “Rockstar”), so you’ll have plenty of listening material to enjoy.

11. Alessandra Amoroso

Alessandra Amoroso is an Italian singer-songwriter known for her powerful vocals. She gained fame after winning “Amici di Maria De Filippi” (an Italian talent show) in 2009 and has since become a prominent figure in Italian music.

But music isn’t her only passion: Alessandra has also pursued acting and philanthropy, all while keeping her dedicated fan base happy with new singles and albums. Genre-wise, her music would best be described as pop—and it’s perfect to listen to in the car!

12. Marracash

Marracash, whose real name is Fabio Bartolo Rizzo, is an Italian rapper and songwriter from Sicily. He gained popularity in the Italian music scene for his clever, streetwise lyrical prowess.

His music often tackles social issues and personal experiences—get ready to be captivated by his introspective, often thought-provoking lyrics. Marracash’s contributions to Italian rap have earned him critical acclaim and numerous awards, solidifying his position as one of the country’s most influential and respected artists in the genre.

 

So there you have it: 12 famous Italian singers and videos of their best songs.

If you enjoy learning Italian with music, you can also find an array of Italian music videos on the FluentU program.

There are so many great Italian singers, so have a look around the Italian language internet to find more!

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