Gianna Nannini

ARTIST — pop, rock

Italy’s foremost female rock singer, Gianna Nannini, was born in Siena on June 14, 1956, to a family that included a renowned industrialist and Siena Football Club president father and a Formula One pilot brother. Often described as the creative rebel in the family, Nannini attended the Lucca Conservatory throughout her entire adolescence, where she was trained as a pianist.

Nannini’s breakthrough came with 1979’s California, recorded with the help of Premiata Forneria Marconi. It was an album that effectively announced her transformation into a rock artist, a direction only hinted at in the few tracks of her second LP. Boasting a superb collection of songs, including her first hit single, “America,” and controversial cover art depicting the Statue of Liberty holding up not a torch but a vibrator painted with the colors of the U.S. flag, California also opened doors for Nannini in Europe, reaching the top of the charts in Germany, a country where she developed an ardent fan base. She went on to become one of the biggest pop icons in Italy in the ’80s, releasing a string of highly successful albums and memorable singles.

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