It’s a long time that Italian media devote space to the next “Italian Song Festival” or simply Sanremo as we call it (because taking place in the city of Sanremo). The singing event that has reached its sixty-second edition, this year will run for five evenings, and will compete fourteen known Italian singers or bands (category Big) and eight promising new singers (Youth category). The show will take place February 14 to 18. On Thursday there will be an evening dedicated to Italy with the participation of several international guests, while contending for the final will be only ten singers.
In the past Sanremo became famous in Europe (broadcasted in Eurovision) and in the world because in the early editions every participant could be in pairs letting a foreign singer song his/her song. One of the first was Paul Anka in 1965, but many others as:
Ben and King, Springfield, Timi Yuro, Petula Clark, The Minstrels, Gene Pitney, Pat Boone, Dionne Warwich, Sonny & Cher, Wilson Picket, Tony Renis, Shirley Bassey, Lara St.Paul, Luis Armstrong, Sacha Distel, Antoine, Rocky Roberts, Stevie Wonder, Mal, Roberto Carlos.
Furthermore, as an icon of Italian music and entertainment, the festival hosted and still hosts each year VIPs and artists known around the world, and on the stage of the Ariston theatre in Sanremo have passed many famous people. Among those foreigners I can mention:
Mick Jagger, Julio Iglesias, Jacky James, Ester Philips, Suzi Quatro, Barry White, John Miles, Asha Puthli, ,Village People, Grace Jones, , Bonnie Tyler, Demis Roussos, Tina Turner, Kate Bush, Charles Aznavour, Barry White, Dire Straits, Robert Palmer, America, Van Halen, Marianne Faithfull, Village People, Gloria Gaynor, Johnny Hallyday, Queen, Paul Young, Randy Crawford, David Knopfer, Steven Schlacks, Duran Duran, Luis Miguel (he only was 15 year old), Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Sade, Spandau Ballet, Sam Harris, Phil Collins, Drum Theatre, Sting, Whitney Houston, Bob Geldof, Annie Lennox, Paul Mc Cartney, Brian Ferry, Joe Cocker, Manhattan Transfer, Bon Jovi, Robbie Robertson, Art Garfunkel, Charles Aznavour, Elton John, Ray Charles, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Boy George, Chico Buarque De Hollanda, Sandie Shaw, Tracie Spencer, Simply Red, Ofra Haza, Juan Manuel Serrat, Europe, Rod Stewart, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Take That, Bono, Sting, Tina Turner, Ricky Martin, Areosmith, Faith Hill, Anastacia, Antonio Banderas and many others. This year should come Stevie Wonder too.
As with the previous edition, to present the show this year will be the famous singer Gianni Morandi accompanied, as usually, by famous and attractive international showgirls or models. (I remember: Ira Furstemberg, Brigitte Nielsen, Cannelle, Claudia Koll, Eva Herzigova, Isabel Russinova, Michelle Hunziker, Iris Peynado, Belén Rodríguez, Andrea Osvart, Elisabetta Canalis, Ivana Mrazova).
Although over time this festival has lost verve, it remains an important event in the history of Italian music that launched Italian singers who later became famous as: Tony Renis, Adriano Celentano, Claudio Villa, Gianni Morandi, Domenico Modugno, Toto Cutugno, Laura Pausini, Vasco Rossi, Andrea Bocelli, Eros Ramazzotti, Mina, Giorgia, Elisa …..