Italy is one of the best European countries with top musicians and rich legacies that ranges across a broad spectrum of opera and instrumental classical music and spans a diverse array of regional styles, instruments and dances.
This music powerhouse and their best musicians retained their Romantic operatic musical tradition in the early 20th century though it eventually declined before interest in the genre was revived during the later part of the century by the likes of Aldo Clementi, Marco Tutino and Lorenzo Ferrero.
Instrumental music also holds an important position in the nation’s musical legacy with top instrumentalists like Andrea Gabrieli, Giovanni Gabrieli, Tomaso Albinoni, Arcangelo Corelli, Antonio Vivaldi, and Luigi Boccherini contributing immensely to the development of this genre.
These top musicians listed above and many others unmentioned have all put their impact in the history of music in Italy. Some have had stronger impact in the history of Italian music and in the lives of the Italian people.
Below is the list of the Top 10 best musicians in Italy, great singers who every Italian music fan should know and adore for their awesome talent in the genre.
Top 10 Best And Greatest Italian Musicians Of All Time
1. Dino Crocetti (aka Dean Martin)
The entertainment world discovered his Latin charm in 1946: at thirty years old, he was spotted by Jerry Lewis who decided to introduce him at Club 500 in Atlantic City.
For the next ten years Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin were together in eighteen hilarious films. Anita Ekberg, Kim Novak, Shirley Mc Laine, Janet Leigh, Deborah Kerr, Judy Holliday, accompanied with their beauty and charm the Italian American in the cinema world.
In addition to the movies in collaboration with Lewis, Dean Martin starred in “Rio Bravo” alongside John Wayne, “Kiss Me Stupid” with Billy Wilder and “Airport”.
Though the film industry gave him a lot of satisfaction, his real great success was in music, thanks to his inborn vocation and undeniable innate talent.
Unlike other Italian-American singers of his generation, Dean Martin always kept his Italian roots alive and his “That’s Amore” is an all-time success.
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2. Anna Oxa
In 1978, at the age of sixteen, she took second place with the song “Un emozione da poco” at the Song Contest of Sanremo Festival.
Oxa, known as “la Voce e il Cuore” (the Voice and the Heart), debuted with a song called “Fiorellin del Prato” at the age of 15 and also, she won the Sanremo Festival twice, in 1989 with “Ti lascerò” and in 1999 with “Senza pietà”.
3. Laura Pausini
As a child, she was encouraged by her father to join him during his performances in local piano bars. After competing in local singing contests, Pausini signed her first recording contract.
She rose to fame in 1993, winning the newcomer artists’ section of the 43rd Sanremo Music Festival with her debut single “La solitudine”, which became an Italian standard and an international hit, topping the charts in Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Her eponymous debut album was released in Italy on 23 April 1993 and later became an international success, selling two million copies worldwide.
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4. Gigliola Cinquetti
Gigliola Cinquetti (born 20 December 1947, Verona, Veneto) is an Italian singer, TV presenter and journalist. At the age of 16 she won the Sanremo Music Festival in 1964 singing “Non Ho L’Età” (“I’m Not Old Enough”), with music composed by Nicola Salerno and lyrics by Mario Panzeri.
Her victory enabled her to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1964 with the same song, and she went on to claim her country’s first ever victory in the event. This became an international success, even entering UK Singles Chart, traditionally unusual for Italian material.
5. Luciano Pavarotti
This highly rated musician in Italy, not only sang in opera but also in other kinds of music. Known for his televised concerts, media appearances, and as one of the “Three Tenors” (the other two were Plácido Domingo and José Carreras).
Pavarotti became enormously popular after a performance of the aria Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s opera Turandotfor the opening ceremony of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
Even in the highest register, his voice was noted for its purity of tone, and his concerts, recordings, and television appearances which provided him ample opportunity to display his ebullient personality gained him a wide popular following.
He was one of the most popular contemporary vocal performers in the world.
6. Mia Martin
Martini recorded her first records as Mimì Bertè, but soon decided to change her name to Mia Martini. She represented Italy very well at the Eurovision Song Contest twice: in 1977 with “Libera” (13th out of 18), and in 1992 with “Rapsodia” (4th out of 23).
That same year she recorded “Per amarti”, written by Bruno Lauzi and Maurizio Fabrizio. She won the World Popular Song Festival Yamaha in Tokyo with “Ritratto di donna” who comes to the first positions in the Japanese charts. In 1982 she participated at the Sanremo Festival. In late 1983, she decided to retire.
In 1992, she was back in the race at the Sanremo Festival with “Gli uomini non cambiano”, by Giancarlo Bigazzi and Beppe Dati. She won second place, allowing her to represent Italy at Eurovision again, which that year was held in Sweden, where she closed with in fourth place with “Rapsodia”.
7. Antonella Ruggiero
In 1975 with Piero Cassano (voice and keyboards), Aldo Stellita (bass), Giancarlo Golzi (drums), Carlo Marrale (voice and guitars), this outstanding lady rated as one of the best musicians in Italy gave birth to the historical group Matia Bazar Matia.
Matia Bazar Matia is the stage name under which Antonella Ruggiero officially began her solo career with the first and rare 45 rpm vinyl record (Matia in Genoa’s language means “crazyness” or “crazy woman”), but I think that means more than what you think now.
Ti Sento was their major hit. It was number one not only in Italy, but in Belgium.
8. Daniela Mietta
She received her first platinum record and won Telegatto award as the best new artist of 1989, which was voted by Italians. In 1990 Minghi was still acting as her talent scout and they made a duet entitled Vattene amore which placed 3rd in the Sanremo Festival. She is one of the best musicians in Italy.
9. Rino Gaetano
At the age of nine, he had to follow his parents to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life. He had great passion for music and never relented.
He is famous for his satirical songs and oblique yet incisive political commentary.
Gaetano is one of the best musicians in Italy and will always be remembered for his rough voice and for the heavily ironic lyrics of his songs and his social protests. He was a popular and influential figure, widely re-evaluated by 2000s music.
10. Alice Visconti
Alice had her breakthrough after winning the Sanremo Music Festival with the song “Per Elisa” in 1981, followed by European hit singles like “Una notte speciale”, “Messaggio”, “Chan-son Egocentrique”, “Prospettiva Nevski” and “Nomadi” and albums like Gioielli rubati, Park Hotel, Elisir and Il sole nella pioggia charting in both Continental Europe, Scandinavia and Japan. Very nice voice.