Her career spans decades, but her rebellious energy is as intact as on her first day. The woman who brought Italian rock to international stature and embodied the word "freedom" on stages the world over is still going strong. Because Gianna Nannini is an indomitable spirit, and she still has a lot to say!
Don't be fooled by her sometimes well-behaved appearance... When she speaks, the queen of Italian rock doesn't mince her words. While she doesn't necessarily like to be called a rebel, she's never been afraid to assert herself and express herself, even if it means shocking people.
And for that, she's got a bit of experience. From her single America, featuring a statue of liberty holding a dildo at arm's length to advocate female pleasure, to her performance on the façade of the French consulate in Rome to protest against nuclear testing alongside Greenpeace, it's fair to say that the singer is neither tongue-tied nor shy.
And it's certainly this purely authentic spirit, this boldness and independence that have won her audiences around the world over. Her personality and, of course, her unmistakably powerful, slightly husky voice, set against a melodic, catchy rock that sometimes flirts with symphonic music, of which she is also a passionate fan.
This grand dame is now one of rock's old hands, but the prospect doesn't frighten her. "Rock is a bath of energy, a therapy," she says.
So, yes, her voice has changed a little. But as if the ardor of her youth were constantly renewed, the artist shows no signs of slowing down. She still has a lot to say, a lot to share, and nothing and no-one can stand in her way.
Gianna Nannini studied at the conservatory for seven years before joining Milan's alternative music scene. She released two albums before turning to a more rock sound, in line with her desire for self-assertion and freedom. In 1979, she exploded in her native Italy with the album California and its provocative single America. A few years later, she released the excellent Puzzle, which stayed at number 1 for two months in Italy and broke into the German, Australian and Swiss charts.
Her uncompromising perseverance paid off. In 1987, the young artist released the hit single I Maschi, the only original track on her first Best Of, which proved a huge hit on the airwaves worldwide, and particularly in France, where it reached number 2 in the Top 50. Three years later, in duet with Edoardo Bennato, she sang the official anthem of the soccer World Cup, Un'estate italiana, and went on tour throughout Europe. By now, the whole planet had its ears wide open, ready to listen to the Italian rocker.
Although the late 90s and early 2000s were less prosperous for Gianna Nannini, the singer still made a few headlines, notably by giving an impromptu concert at a Greenpeace action in Rome. Finally, in 2006, she released Grazie and made a comeback in the Italian charts, going multi-platinum. Three years later, she did it again with Giannadream - solo i sogni sono veri, before organizing what remains one of Europe's biggest charity concerts in aid of the victims of the Abruzzo earthquake.
The 2010s saw the rocker find a second wind and even return to the top of the charts. In 2020, she released La Differenzia, a 10-track album showing that you can be experienced without losing your audacity. With her tour interrupted by the pandemic, the singer did not give up, and was one of the first to offer a streaming concert to lift the spirits of her confined fans. As soon as the latter was lifted, she set off on tour again, with a notable appearance at the Olympia in Paris.
She's over 60, but she'd bring a lot of youngsters to their knees with her unbelievable energy on stage! She radiates and literally transpires emotions. Even if you don't speak Italian, you feel as if you're living her lyrics. A rock powerhouse like only she can deliver, a grande dame!
Gianna Nannini is a generous artist who has never shied away from a challenge. To be a woman in the small world of rock, to sing in Italian but have an international career, to remain faithful to her values whatever the cost... This is how we might sum up this astonishing singer who has propelled Italy to the forefront of the scene, never to take a step back. Each of her appearances is a moment of timeless communion that should not be missed under any circumstances.
Her concerts sometimes resemble marathons, at the end of which the audience arrives more out of breath than the singer. She screams, runs across the stage, climbs the curtains. Before each tour, she trains like an athlete. "Music isn't enough for me. For me, it's important to communicate through my body, which is an instrument. The body makes music". In this field, Gianna Nannini is unbeatable.