Mina Mina
Pop singer
Mina Mina
Mina Anna Quaini, known as Mina, is an Italian pop singer. She was a staple of Italian television variety shows and a dominant figure in Italian pop music from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, known for her three-octave vocal range, the agility of her soprano voice, and her image as an emancipated woman. In performance, Mina combined several modern styles with traditional Italian melodies and swing music, which made her the most versatile pop singer in Italian music.
Mina's personal information overview.
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  • 2010
    Age 69
    In 2010, Chicago band La Scala released a rock cover of her hit "Tu Farai" with Gretta Rochelle on vocals.
    More Details Hide Details Spanish artist Mónica Naranjo recorded the album Minage with Mina's covers in Spanish, published on 20 March 1999. The tracks included "Ancora, ancora, ancora", "Io é te da soli", "Fiume azzurro" (as "Sobreviviré") and "L'immensità". Mina collaborated with the album recording the duet "Él se encuentra entre tú y yo" ("He is between you and me"). To celebrate Mina's 70th anniversary, the la Repubblica newspaper held a reader's poll to pick Mina's best song of all time. In a vote of 30,000 participants, "Se telefonando" emerged at the top of the list. 1958 1959 1960 1961 1963 1964 1965 1966 1968 1987 2001
  • 2007
    Age 66
    In 2007, Mina published Todavía, an album in Spanish and Portuguese, which reached #36 on the Spanish charts and #1 on the Italian charts.
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  • 2003
    Age 62
    In 2003, the musical Mina... che cosa sei? based on Mina's songs was staged in Argentina, starring Elena Roger.
    More Details Hide Details It was nominated for four Premios ACE in 2003 and 2004, among them Best Musical, and won the Premio Clarín for Best Musical.
  • 2001
    Age 60
    – Grand Officer Order of Merit of the Italian Republic: Awarded the second highest civil honour in Italy, by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi on 1 June 2001.
    More Details Hide Details 2010 In her early teens, Mina was a competitive swimmer for the Canottieri Baldesio sports club in Cremona, attended by the elite of the Cremonese bourgeoisie at the time. She met her first boyfriend, a fullback for the U.S. Cremonese football club, at the swimming pool at her age of 16. Mina fell in love with actor Corrado Pani in 1962. Their relationship shocked Italian audiences as he was already married although separated from his wife. Their son, Massimiliano Pani, was born on 18 April 1963. Due to Mina's refusal to hide the relationship, the singer was banned from performing on public Italian television or radio channels. As her record sales were unaffected and audiences demanded to see Mina on the air, RAI was forced to end the ban and let Mina return to television on 10 January 1964. Within a year, her affair with Corrado ended.
    President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi presented her with the Second Class of the Italian Order of Merit on 1 June 2001.
    More Details Hide Details British singer Dusty Springfield referenced Mina in performance. A number of Mina's songs were turned into hits by singers in other languages. The first of these was "Piano", scored by Matt Monro as "Softly, as I Leave You", which reached #10 in the UK Top 40. In 1964, the song reached #27 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the version by Frank Sinatra. "Se telefonando" was covered by several performers in Italy and abroad, most notably by Françoise Hardy and Iva Zanicchi (1966), Delta V (2005), Vanessa and the O's (2007), and Neil Hannon (2008). "Grande grande grande", recorded by Shirley Bassey as "Never Never Never" in 1973, reached the Billboard Hot 100, UK Top 10, #1 of the Australian charts, #2 in South Africa and #3 in Singapore. A year later, Dalida and Alain Delon recorded the French version of "Parole parole" and made it an international hit. Mexican icon José José recorded the Spanish version of the hit "Sono, come tu mi vuoi", entitled "Soy como quieras tú". English musician Elvis Costello used a sample from Mina's "Un bacio è troppo poco" on his album When I Was Cruel. Tanita Tikaram covered Mina's "And I Think of You - E penso a te" in English as a track on the album The Best of Tanita Tikaram. It should be noted that Turkish singer Ajda Pekkan, nicknamed superstar, covered more than a dozen of Mina songs.
    In 2001, Mina published the compilation album Colección Latina.
    More Details Hide Details It includes standards in Spanish, as well as Spanish covers of her originals.
    The break in Mina's TV appearances lasted until 2001, when she released footage of her recording sessions.
    More Details Hide Details The videos were broadcast over the Wind internet site on 30 March. This resulted in millions of visits to the site on that night, and additional millions on following days. The footage was released as the DVD Mina in Studio. After the event, Mina's singles started to chart in Italy again. The track "Succhiando l'uva" (2002), written for her by Zucchero, peaked at #3 on the chart. Mina's cover of "Don't call me baby (Can't take my eyes off you)" (2003) reached #4 in Italy. The single "Alibi" (2007) reached #6 in Italy. The triple CD The Platinum Collection reached #1 on the Italian charts. So did Olio (1999), Veleno (2002), Bula Bula (2005) and Todavía. Mina's later releases have included duets with Mick Hucknall, Fabrizio De André, Piero Pelù, Adriano Celentano, Lucio Dalla, Joan Manuel Serrat, Chico Buarque, Tiziano Ferro, Giorgia and Seal. In recent years, Mina has been writing a weekly column on the front page of La Stampa and a page in the Italian edition of the magazine Vanity Fair, where she answers fan letters.
  • 1989
    Age 48
    Starting in 1989, all of her records included the jazzy piano playing of Danilo Rea.
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  • 1981
    Age 40
    Mina became engaged to her current husband, cardiologist Eugenio Quaini, in 1981. They were married on 10 January 2006 in Lugano.
    More Details Hide Details She obtained Swiss citizenship in 1989. As required in that country, she took on her husband's last name and her legal name became Anna Maria Quaini. To her public, however, she still addresses herself as Mina Mazzini, also seen in her website's domain name. Mina signed a contract with the Barilla food label in 1965 and starred in ten pasta commercials by 1971, directed by Piero Gherardi and Valerio Zurlini among others. In 2005, Mina's performances in ads for Barilla were published on VHS and DVD as Nei caroselli Barilla. The exclusive concert at the La Bussola Club on 16 September 1972 was released by the PDU record company in 2003 as Mina alla Bussola Live '72. Recorded by Polivideo TV company, the event was aired on Sky Italia as a series from 1 to 21 January 1973. Footage of Mina's recording session was released as the Mina in studio DVD in 2001.
  • 1978
    Age 37
    Mina gave her last public performance on 23 August 1978 at the Bussoladomani theatre.
    More Details Hide Details It was recorded and issued as Mina Live '78. Mina continued to release albums on a yearly basis with her son Massimiliano Pani as the producer. Between 1972 and 1995, she published a double album each year. From 1973, her LPs and CDs have been characterized by artistic motifs of the designers Luciano Tallarini, Gianni Ronco and the photographer Mauro Balletti. From the mid-1980s, the design of the album covers was trusted to Balletti alone. All of Mina's records under the PDU label have reached the Italian Top 100. A large part of her work has consisted of covering well-known songs; she has dedicated tribute albums to The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Renato Zero, Domenico Modugno, the Neapolitan song, and religious music. After leaving the stage, her greatest chart successes have been duets. In 1985, "Questione di feeling", a duet with Riccardo Cocciante, was the 13th biggest-selling single of the year in Italy and became an evergreen (as a hit song is called in Europe). The duet album Mina Celentano, recorded with Adriano Celentano, was the biggest-selling album of 1998 in Italy.
    Her last concert appearances, a series of thirteen fully booked concerts at La Bussola in 1978, were cut short due to her illness.
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  • 1974
    Age 33
    Mina's last live TV appearance was the final episode of the Milleluci series on 16 March 1974.
    More Details Hide Details Mina was the hostess of the series alongside Raffaella Carrà. During the series, she explored different musical styles in the songs "I Don't Know How to Love Him", "Mack the Knife", "Night and Day", and "Someday (You'll Want Me to Want You)". After "Non gioco più" ("The Game Is Over"), a blues duet with the harmonica player Toots Thielemans, Mina announced her withdrawal from public performances. Her last appearance on TV was her performance of "Ancora ancora ancora". The video was the final number of the "Mille e una luce" show on 1 July 1978.
    She recorded the theme song "Fa presto, fa piano" ("Works Quickly, Works Quietly") for the film La sculacciata, issued in 1974.
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  • 1973
    Age 32
    Mina lost her husband Virgilio Crocco in a car accident in 1973.
    More Details Hide Details She continued her career with the top Italian chart hits "E poi " ("And Then ") and "L'importante è finire" ("It's Important to Finish").
  • 1972
    Age 31
    Mina's comeback took place at RAI's variety series Teatro 10 in spring 1972.
    More Details Hide Details One of the highlights of the series was a selection of Battisti's songs performed in duet with the composer. The shows also included "Balada para mi muerte" ("Ode to My Death"), a nuevo tango duet with Ástor Piazzolla at the bandoneón, backed by the Argentinian group Conjunto 9. "Grande grande grande", arranged by Pino Presti, was the second biggest-selling single of the year in Italy. The successes encouraged Enrico Riccardi to copy Battisti's style in Riccardi's composition "Fiume azzurro", which earned another place in the top 100 of annual record sales in Italy. The final number of the eight Teatro 10 episodes was "Parole parole" ("Words Words"), a duet with Alberto Lupo. The song is an easy listening dialogue between Mina's singing and Lupo's declamation. The lyrics' theme are hollow words. These intertwine the lady's lamentation of the end of love and the lies she has to hear with the male protagonist's recitation. In the dialog she scoffs at the compliments he gives her, calling them parole – just words. The single was released in April 1972 and topped the Italian charts. It was covered by numerous Italian and French duets.
    Mina was the biggest seller of 1972.
    More Details Hide Details The latter two albums were recorded during a break from live performances to give birth to her daughter Benedetta.
  • 1969
    Age 28
    Among them, bugiardo più che mai più incosciente che mai was Mina's first independent album to reach #1 of the weekly Italian charts and was the biggest selling album of 1969 in Italy. quando tu mi spiavi in cima a un batticuore was seventh on the annual record chart of 1970.
    More Details Hide Details Del mio meglio (My Best) was second in 1971.
  • 1968
    Age 27
    Each show was closed by Mina singing "Vorrei che fosse amore" ("Wish It Was Love"), a piece of atmospheric music by Bruno Canfora that was #50 on the best-selling singles chart for 1968 in Italy.
    More Details Hide Details A selection of songs from the series were issued as the album Canzonissima '68. After a break of three months, Mina returned and recorded the song "Non credere" ("Disbelieve"), composed by Luigi Clausetti and Pietro Soffici, with lyrics by Mogol, in April. The single became the third biggest-selling record of the year in Italy. Mogol and his fellow composer Lucio Battisti, along with the Premiata Forneria Marconi on back-up instrumentals, worked with Mina on several songs as a result of the success of "Non credere". The team produced a set of songs including "Io e te da soli" ("You and Me Alone"), "Insieme" ("Together"), "Amor mio" ("Love of Mine"), "Io vivrò senza te" ("I'll Live without You"), "E penso a te" ("And I Think of You"). One of the first introductions of the new repertoire was the Senza rete live televised concert from the Auditorio A in Naples on 20 January 1970. The material provided by Mogol-Battisti was the core for five albums.
  • 1967
    Age 26
    Mina continued to perform on Italian TV, and presented "Zum zum zum" on the spring 1967 variety series Sabato sera, accompanied by the NATO naval band.
    More Details Hide Details The series also included "La coppia più bella del mondo" ("The Most Beautiful Couple in the World"), a duet with Adriano Celentano. The title of the song "Sono, come tu mi vuoi" ("I Am, as You Want Me to Be") was taken from Luigi Pirandello's play Come tu mi vuoi. The lyrics talk about the manic attention of the press on an artist's private life. Another hit from Sabato sera was "L'immensità" ("Immensity"), which was re-scored by Augusto Martelli and released as "La inmensidad" in Spain and Latin American countries. RAI broadcast the third episode of Senza rete ("Unplugged") live on 18 July 1968 from the Auditorio A of the corporation's regional headquarters in Naples. The program presented Mina's homage to Luigi Tenco, who had recently died. She turned his song "Se stasera sono qui" ("If I Stay Here Tonight") into a rigorous piece of soul music in the score of Pino Calvi. She celebrated the 10th anniversary of her career with a concert at La Bussola, backed by the Orchestra Augusto Martelli. The concert was recorded and issued as Mina alla Bussola dal vivo.
  • 1966
    Age 25
    In 1966, Mina started working with the Swiss Broadcasting Service and the Orchestra Radiosa in Lugano.
    More Details Hide Details She founded the independent record label PDU in collaboration with her father. The first record issued under the label was Dedicato a mio padre (Dedicated to My Father). Mina's growing interest in Brazilian music resulted in "La banda" ("The Band"), a Chico Buarque song, which reached #3 in Italy.
  • 1965
    Age 24
    Mina's brother Alfredo Mazzini died in a car accident in 1965.
    More Details Hide Details A year later she and her father moved to Lugano, Switzerland. Mina's intimate relationships, however, remained in Italy, as she had a brief affair with the actor Walter Chiari. A later relationship with actor Gian Maria Volontè ended after she found out about Volontè's affair with an actress. Mina's great love of the late 1960s, with whom she had a relationship that lasted three years and almost led to marriage, was the composer Augusto Martelli. Her second spouse was Virgilio Crocco, a journalist for Il Messaggero, in 1970. As a result of their marriage, her legal name was changed to Anna Maria Mazzini Crocco. Their daughter Benedetta Mazzini was born on 11 November 1971. Crocco died in a car accident in 1973.
    Her recordings of 1965 included the scatting performance of "Spirale Waltz", the theme song for the film The 10th Victim.
    More Details Hide Details Maurizio Costanzo and Ghigo De Chiara wrote the lyrics of "Se telefonando" ("If Over the Phone") as the theme for the TV program Aria condizionata in spring 1966. The lyrics were composed in a dark, Hal David mode. The serialist composer Ennio Morricone was asked to compose the music. Mina and the three songwriters met in a RAI rehearsal room at Via Teulada, Rome. Morricone started to repeat a short musical theme of just three notes (by his term a micro-cell) on an upright piano. He had copied the snippet of melody from the siren of a police car in Marseilles. After a few bars Mina grabbed the lyrics sheet and started to sing as if she had known the tune before. Composed in this way, "Se telefonando" is a pop song with eight transitions of tonality that builds tension throughout the chorus. Morricone's arrangement featured a sophisticated combination of melodic trumpet lines, Hal Blaine-style drumming, a string set, a 1960s Europop female choir, and intense subsonic-sounding trombones.
  • 1964
    Age 23
    Her new melodic manner was demonstrated again on 11 December 1964 TV program Il macchiettario, where she performed "Io sono quel che sono" ("I Am What I Am").
    More Details Hide Details A reminder of her previous adolescent image, her single "Suna ni kieta namida" ("Tears Disappear in the Sand"), sung in Japanese, peaked at #1 on the Japanese singles chart and earned Mina the title of Best International Artist in Japan. The first episode of the Studio Uno live Saturday night series showcased Mina's new blond look with shaved eyebrows. The shows included the brooding songs "Un bacio è troppo poco" ("One Kiss is Not Enough") and "Un anno d'amore" ("A Year of Love"), a cover of Nino Ferrer's "C'est irreparable". In the same series she performed "Brava" ("Good"), a rhythmic jazz number specially written by Bruno Canfora to demonstrate the Mina's vocal range and performing skills. Her Studio Uno album topped the Italian chart that year.
    On 10 January 1964 she returned to the TV screen on the program La fiera dei sogni, and performed the song "Città vuota", a cover of Gene McDaniels' "It's a Lonely Town (Lonely Without You)", which was her first release on the RiFi label.
    More Details Hide Details Her next single, "È l'uomo per me", a cover of Jody Miller's "He Walks Like a Man", became the biggest selling record of the year in Italy.
  • 1963
    Age 22
    In 1963 Mina's TV and radio career was interrupted by RAI, the Italian public broadcasting service, as she refused to cover up her relationship (and resulting pregnancy) with the married actor Corrado Pani.
    More Details Hide Details Mina's record sales were unaffected and due to public demand, RAI ended the ban.
    Mina was banned from TV and radio in 1963 because her pregnancy and relationship with a married actor did not accord with the dominant Catholic and bourgeois morals.
    More Details Hide Details After the ban, the public broadcasting service RAI tried to continue to prohibit her songs, which were forthright in dealing with subjects such as religion, smoking and sex. Mina's cool act combined sex appeal with public smoking, dyed blonde hair, and shaved eyebrows to create a "bad girl" image. Mina's voice has distinctive timbre and great power. Her main themes are anguished love stories performed in high dramatic tones. The singer combined classic Italian pop with elements of blues, R&B and soul music during the late 1960s, especially when she worked in collaboration with the singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti. Top Italian songwriters created material with large vocal ranges and unusual chord progressions to showcase her singing skills, particularly "Brava" by Bruno Canfora (1965) and the pseudo-serial "Se telefonando" by Ennio Morricone (1966). The latter song was covered by several performers abroad. Shirley Bassey carried Mina's ballad "Grande grande grande" to charts in the U.S., U.K., and other English-speaking countries in 1973. Mina's easy listening duet "Parole parole" was turned into a worldwide hit by Dalida and Alain Delon in 1974. Mina gave up public appearances in 1978 but has continued to release popular albums on a yearly basis to the present day.
  • 1962
    Age 21
    In May 1962, she performed in Buenos Aires.
    More Details Hide Details Meanwhile, her version of the mambo rhythm "Moliendo Cafe" and the surf pop "Renato" peaked at #1 and #4 respectively on the Italian charts. "L'eclisse twist" appeared on the flipside of "Renato", and was used on the soundtrack of Michelangelo Antonioni's feature film Eclipse.
    In a listeners' poll conducted in July 1962 in Germany, Austria, and the German-speaking portion of Switzerland, Mina was voted the most popular singer in the world.
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    The presentation of her German single "Heißer Sand" on 12 March 1962 on Peter Kraus's TV show caused a boom of 40,000 record sales in ten days in Germany.
    More Details Hide Details The record went to #1 and spent over half the year on the German charts in 1962. Mina had six more singles on the German chart in the next two years.
    Mina performed on Spanish TV and at the Paris Olympia hall at the beginning of 1962.
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  • 1961
    Age 20
    As her songs and movies were already popular abroad, Mina started to tour Spain and Japan, and performed on Venezuelan TV in 1961.
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    At the 1961 Sanremo song festival, Mina performed two songs. "Io amo, tu ami" ("I Love, You Love") finished fourth and "Le mille bolle blu" ("A Thousand Blue Bubbles") placed fifth.
    More Details Hide Details Disappointed with these results, Mina declared her intention of never performing at the Sanremo song festival again.
  • 1960
    Age 19
    In 1960, Mina made her Festival della canzone italiana in Sanremo debut with two songs.
    More Details Hide Details She turned to slow emotional love songs for the first time. The song "È vero" ("It's True") reached #8 on the Italian charts. Gino Paoli's song "Il cielo in una stanza" ("The Sky in a Room") marked the beginning of the young singer's transformation from a rock and roll shrieker to a feminine inspiration for cantautori. The idea for the song "Love can grow at any moment at any place" had come to Paoli while lying on a bed and looking at the purple ceiling. The single topped the list of annual sales in Italy and reached the Billboard Hot 100 as "This World We Love In". Video performances of the song were included in the musicarellos Io bacio... tu baci and Appuntamento a Ischia, and in 1990, in the soundtrack of the film Goodfellas.
  • 1959
    Age 18
    In late 1959, Matalon had her drop the name Baby Gate in favour of Mina.
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    Her first Italian #1 hit was the up-tempo "Tintarella di luna" ("Moon Tan") in September 1959, which was performed in her first musicarello (musical comedy film), Juke box - Urli d'amore.
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    Her first hit with the band featured Mina performed an extra-loud, syncopated version of the popular song "Nessuno" ("Nobody"), which she performed at the first rock festival in the Milan Ice Palace in February 1959.
    More Details Hide Details Performances of the song on the TV game shows Lascia o raddoppia? and Il musichiere on 1 March and 4 April were hailed by Italian critics. The starlet signed with Elio Gigante, an experienced artist manager. In the following years, he organized her performances in the grand ballrooms of Italy.
  • 1958
    Age 17
    Her concert in September 1958, before an audience of 2,500 people at the Theatre of Rivarolo del Re, won enthusiastic approval from local critics.
    More Details Hide Details She soon signed with Davide Matalon, owner of the small record company Italdisc. Her first single, "Non partir"/"Malatia", was produced under the stage name Mina for the Italian audience. Simultaneously, "Be Bop A Lula"/"When" was issued under the name Baby Gate for the international audience. Baby was chosen as a contrast to her 178 cm height (5 ft 10 in) — exceptionally tall for an Italian woman — and Gate as a tribute to The Golden Gate Quartet. In December, her performance at the Sei giorni della canzone festival of Milan was described by the La Notte newspaper as the "birth of a star". It was Mina's last performance with the Happy Boys, as her family refused to let her skip college for a scheduled tour of Turkey. Less than a month after the breakup with her previous band, Mina co-founded a new group called Solitari, which consisted of a singer, a saxophonist, a pianist, a contrabassist, and a guitarist.
    While on summer holiday in Versilia on 8 August 1958, Mazzini gave an improvised performance of the song "Un'anima tra le mani" to amuse her family after a concert at the La Bussola night club.
    More Details Hide Details During the following nights, Sergio Bernardini, the owner of the club, held her back in her attempts to get back on stage. In September, she started her solo career with the backing of the band Happy Boys.
    After finishing high school in 1958, she attended college where she majored in accounting.
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  • 1940
    Born on March 25, 1940.
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