Italy has produced some of the world's most celebrated vocalists. From exceptional singers like Bocelli and Pavarotti, to beloved pop stars like Laura Pausini and Eros Ramazzotti, Italian musicians gained international success. The popularity has allowed many of Italy's most talented singers and songwriters to collaborate with some of the most recognised names in music today. To recognise the amazing duets that have come from these partnerships we have compiled a list of the best Italian song collaborations to date.
The Prayer: Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli
The Prayer was originally two separate solo songs, with Celine Dion's version in English and Andrea Bocelli singing in Italian. The two parts were combined into a duet for the movie Quest for Camelot in 1998. "The Prayer" went on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999. The collaboration peaked at #22 on United States charts and has been covered by numerous international artists.
Miss Sarajevo: Bono, Brian Eno, Luciano Pavarotti
Miss Sarajevo was included in a documentary and album produced by Bono to raise awareness about the ethnic conflict and modern warfare taking place during the Siege of Sarajevo. According to the U2 frontman, the partnership was Pavarotti's idea:"He had been asking for a song. In fact, asking is an understatement. He had been crank-calling the house. He told me if I didn't write him a song, God would be very cross". The collaboration hit the top-10 in many European countries, including Italy. The pair also teamed up to record a duet of Ave Maria
Senza Una Donna: Zucchero and Paul Young
Senza Una Donna (or "Without a Woman") is the best known single by Italian rock star Zucchero. The singer collaborated with Paul Young to release the song on his 1990 record "Zucchero Sings his Hits in English". The duet went on to become a top 10 hit across European charts. Zucchero has also worked with Joe Cocker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton and Miles Davis.
You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine: Laura Pausini and Michael Bublé
Laura Pausini had her career debut at the Sanremo Festival in 1993. Since taking the first prize in the music competition, she has gone on to be called the "Queen of Italian Pop". The singer-songwriter teamed up with Michael Bublé for an English love duet titled "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine". In addition to singing in English and Italian, Pausini has also recorded songs in Spanish, Portuguese and French.
Primavera in Anticipo: Laura Pausini and James Blunt
Forcing James Blunt to show off his Italian skills, Laura Pausini collaborated with the English singer on a bilingual duet in 2008. The love ballad video finds the two internationally recognised musicians searching for each other in a springtime snowstorm. The song reached #1 on Italian charts.
Each Tear: Tiziano Ferro and Mary J. Blige
Tiziano Ferro has sold over 8 million albums and like Pausini, launched his carreer at Sanremo's Festival. Ferro participated in the song contest in 1997, but did not make it past the early selections. He returned in 1998 and progressed to become one of the 12 finalists. In 2009, the Italian pop singer collaborated with Mary J. Blige on the Italian version of Each Tear, writing a special rap to perform during the song. Their collaboration soon went to #1 on Italian charts.
Cose della vita - Can't Stop Thinking of You: Eros Ramazzotti and Tina Turner
Eros Ramazzotti has sold over 50 million records during his 25-year career. The well known Italian singer teamed up with Tina Turner to record the rock ballad "Cose della vita - Can't Stop Thinking of You" in 1997. The duet was included in Ramazzotti's 1997 "Eros – Greatest Hits" album that was soon featured in several top 5 charts across Europe. No stranger to international success, Ramazzotti has also collaborated with Cher, Andrea Bocelli, Joe Cocker, Luciano Pavarotti, Laura Pausini and Ricky Martin.
Goodbye Malinconia: Caparezza and Tony Hadley
Italian rapper Caparezza ("Curly Head" in Apulian dialect) is well known for advocating change in his music. Caparezza joined forces with English pop singer Tony Hadley to record the debut single on his fifth album. With an upbeat tempo, Caparezza touches on serious issues like youth unemployment and the resulting 'brain drain' as young people leave Italy looking for other opportunities. A floating Tony Hadley appears in the video to provide harmony. The single hit a nerve with some Italian politicians, but Caparezza explained that he was merely trying to capture a particular moment in his song, not to criticize Italy in an undeserved manner.
Fango: Jovanotti and Ben Harper
Singer-songwriter and rapper, Jovanotti is known for his funky style and commitment to social causes. The musician bonded with Bono over their mutual engagement in alleviating poverty in poor African countries. His 2008 collaboration with Ben Harper became a best-seller in Italy, selling over 500,000 copies.
Senza Fiato: Giuliano Sangiorgi & Dolores O'Riordan
Giulian Sangiorgi is the singer, guitarist and composer for the group Negramaro. The multi-talented musician recorded a haunting duet with Irish singer Dolores O'Riordan titled Senza Fiato (or 'breathless') for the 2007 film Cemento Armato.