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Mina (singer)

Mina Anna Mazzini OMRI (born Anna Maria Mazzini 25 March 1940), known as Mina, is an Italian pop singer with Swiss citizenship. For the great extension and agility of her soprano voice and her image as an emancipated lady, she was a staple of the Italian television variety shows and a dominant figure on the Italian charts in the 1960s and 1970s. During the performances, Mina combined several modern styles with the traditional Italian melody and swing music making her the most versatile pop singer in Italian music. Mina dominated the Italian charts for fifteen years and reached an unsurpassed level of popularity in Italy. She has recorded over 1000 songs, 110 albums, sold 76 million records, and scored 70 singles in Italian charts. She gave up public appearances in 1978, but continued to release popular albums on a yearly basis to date.

Mina's TV appearances in 1959 presented the first female rock and roll singer in Italy. Her loud syncopated singing earned her the nickname ''Queen of Screamers''. For her wild gestures and body shakes, the publicity also labeled her the ''Tiger of Cremona''. Having turned to light pop tunes, Mina's chart-toppers in West Germany and Japan in 1962–1964 earned her the titles of the best international artist in the respective countries. Mina's more refined sensual manner was introduced in 1960 with Gino Paoli's ballad "Il cielo in una stanza", which charted in the Billboard Hot 100.

Mina's pregnancy and relationship with a married actor caused her to be banned from the Italian TV and radio channels in 1963 as her lifestyle did not accord with the dominant Catholic and bourgeois morals. After the ban, the Italian broadcasting service RAI continued trying to prohibit her songs which were forthright in dealing with subjects such as religion, smoking, or sex (e.g. the songs "Ta-ra-ta-ta" and "Sacumdì Sacumdà"). To her ''bad girl'' image, Mina added her sex appeal and her cool act featuring public smoking, dyed blond hair and shaved eyebrows.

Mina's voice has distinctive timbre and great power. Her main theme are anguished love stories performed in high dramatic tones ("Un bacio è troppo poco", 1965, "Portati via", 2005). The singer combined classic Italian pop with features of blues, R&B and soul music in the late 1960s e.g. the songs "Se stasera sono qui" (1968), "Deborah" (1968), and collaborations with the composer Lucio Battisti in 1969–1970. Top Italian songwriters created material with large vocal range and unusual chord progression 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. Her ballad "Grande grande grande", was carried to the U.S., U.K., and Australian charts by Shirley Bassey in 1972. Mina's easy listening duet "Parole parole" was turned into a worldwide hit by Dalida and Alain Delon in the next year.


Anna Maria Mazzini was born into a working class family in Busto Arsizio, Lombardy. Her father worked as a chemical engineer. The Mazzini family moved to work in Cremona where Anna Maria Mazzini grew up. She listened to American rock and roll and jazz records and was a frequent visitor at the Santa Tecla and the Taverna Messicana clubs of Milan, both known for promoting rock and roll. After finishing high school in 1958, she attended college where she majored in accounting.[http://www.musicalstore.it/INTERPRETI/MINA-BIOGRAFIA%20.htm Mina. Biografia]. Musicalstore.it site. Retrieved 27 June 2007

Baby Gate (1958)

While on summer holiday in Versilia on 8 August 1958, Mazzini gave an improvised performance to amuse her family after a concert at La Bussola, a night club in Marina di Pietrasanta with the song "Un'anima tra le mani". During the following nights, Sergio Bernardini, the owner of the club held back her attempts to get back to singing on stage.P.Belluso-F.Merkel, Unicamente Mina, Gammalibri 1983, p.12

In September, she started her solo career as she received the backing of the band Happy Boys. Her concert in September 1958, before an audience of 2,500 people at the Theatre of Rivarolo del Re, won enthusiastic approval from the local critics. Davide Matalon the owner of the small record company Italdisc was invited to listen to Mazzini at one of her regular performances at a club in the comune of Casteldidone. Her first single, "Non partir"/"Malattia", 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 178cm height (5ft 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 greeted by ''La Notte'' newspaper as ''the birth of a star''. It remained Mina's last performance with the Happy Boys, as her family refused to let her skip college for a scheduled tour of Turkey.

Queen of Screamers (1959–1961)

Less than a month after the breakup with her previous band, Mina co-founded a new group called Solitari, consisting of a singer, a saxophonist, a pianist, a contrabassist, and a guitarist. As the first hit with the band, Mina took Betty Curtis's swing song "Nessuno" ("Nobody") and performed an extra-loud, syncopated version of it at the first rock festival in the Milan Ice Palace in February 1959.[http://www.galleriadellacanzone.it/canzoni/anni50/schede/nessuno/tv.htm Nessuno. In TV esplode Mina]. Galleria della canzone site. Retrieved 27 June 2007 The 1 March and 4 April performances of the song on the ''Lascia o raddoppia?'' and ''Il musichiere'' TV pop quizzes were hailed by the 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. Her first Italian #1 hit followed with the surf pop "Tintarella di luna" ("Moon Tan"), which was performed in her first musicarello (musical comedy film) ''Juke box - Urli d'amore''. In late 1959, Matalon dropped the name Baby Gate in favour of Mina.

Next year, Mina took part in the Festival della canzone italiana in Sanremo with two songs, turning to the slow emotional love songs for the first time. She became eighth with the song "È vero" ("It's True"). Gino Paoli's song "Il cielo in una stanza" ("The Sky in a Room") marked the young singer's eventual transformation from a rock and roll shrieker to a feminine inspiration for cantautori.[http://www.hitparadeitalia.it/schede/c/cielo_in_una_stanza.htm Il cielo in una stanza]. Hit Parade Italia The idea of the song: "Love can grow at any moment at any place," had come to Paoli, lying on the bed of a brothel and looking at the purple ceiling. The single topped the list of annual sales in Italy and reached Billboard Hot 100. Video performances of the song were included in the musicarellos ''Io bacio... tu baci'' and ''Appuntamento a Ischia''.

In 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") fifth. After the contest disappointment, Mina declared withdrawal from performing at the Sanremo song festival ever again.

International success (1961–1962)

As her songs and movies were already popular abroad, Mina started to tour Spain and Japan, and performed on Venezuelan TV in 1961. In the beginning of 1962, Mina performed on Spanish TV and the Paris Olympia hall. 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. The record went to #1 and spent over half a year in the German charts in 1962.[http://www.readysteadygirls.eu/#/mina/4523211977 Mina] Ready Steady Girls site. Retrieved 21 February 2008 In the subsequent two years, Mina charted six more singles in the German chart. In a listener's poll conducted in July 1962 in Germany, Austria, and the German-speaking Switzerland, Mina was voted the most popular singer in the world. In May 1962, she performed in Buenos Aires. Meanwhile in the Italian charts, her mambo rhythm "Moliendo Cafe" and the surf pop "Renato" peaked respectively at #1 and #4. On the flipside of "Renato" appeared "L'eclisse twist" ("Eclipse Twist") designated for the soundtrack of Michelangelo Antonioni's feature film ''L'eclisse''.

Growing up (1963–1965)

In 1963 Mina's TV and radio career was interrupted by RAI, as she refused to cover her relationship (and resulting pregnancy) with the married actor Corrado Pani. Mina's record sales stayed unaffected and due to the public demand, RAI ended the ban. On 10 January 1964, she returned to the screen in the ''La fiera dei sogni'' program, with "Città vuota" ("Empty City"). Mina changed her record label to Ri-Fi and her manager to Tonino Ascoldi. The first release of the team was the single "È l'uomo per me", a cover of Jody Miller's "He Walks Like a Man". The release became the biggest selling record of the year in Italy. Her new melodic maner[http://www.minamazzini.com/cronache/?dec=60&id=56 Mina nuova maniera] Bella journal, March 29, 1964 was demonstrated again on 11 December 1964 TV program ''Il macchiettario'', performing "Io sono quel che sono" ("I Am What I Am"). Reminding of her previous teeny image, her single in Japanese, "Suna ni kieta namida" ("Tears Disappear in the Sand") peaked at #1 in 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 presented 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" ("Brave"), a rhythmic jazz number specially written by Bruno Canfora to demonstrate the singer's vocal range and performing skills. Her Studio Uno album topped the Italian album chart of the year. Her recordings of 1965 included the scatting performance of "Spirale Waltz", the theme song for the film ''The 10th Victim''.

"Se telefonando" (1966)

In Spring 1966, Maurizio Costanzo and Ghigo De Chiara, the authors of the ''Aria condizionata'' TV show, wrote the lyrics of the theme for their TV program. The serialist composer Ennio Morricone was requested to compose the music for the dark mode lyrics of "Se telefonando" ("If Over the Phone"). The encounter of the three authors and Mina took place in a Radiotelevisione Italiana rehearsal room at Via Teulada, Rome. Morricone started to repeat a short musical theme or by his term a ''micro-cell'' of just three notes at an upright pianoforte. He had caught the piece of melody from the siren of a police car in Marseilles. After a few bars Mina grabbed the sheet with the lyrics and started to sing, as if she had known the tune before. The result was a pop song with eight transitions of tonality, building 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.

"Se telefonando" was presented in May 1966 in a ''Studio Uno'' episode, and in August the same year at the ''Aria condizionata''. The single peaked at #7 of the Italian chart and was 53rd in the annual list of sales. Featuring the song as one of the standout tracks among "Ta-ra-ta-ta" and "Una casa in cima al mondo", ''Studio Uno 66'' was the 5th biggest selling album of the year in Italy.

Independence (1966–1968)

In 1966, Mina started to co-operate with the Swiss Broadcasting Service and Orchestra Radiosa in Lugano. In collaboration with her father, she founded an independent record label PDU. The first record 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 cover, reaching #3 in Italy. Mina continued to perform on Italian TV, presenting "Zum zum zum" in the ''Sabato sera'' spring 1967 variety series, accompanied by the NATO naval band. 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 song reported the manic attention of the press at the artist's private life. Another hit from the ''Sabato sera'' was "L'immensità" ("Immensity"), re-scored by Augusto Martelli and released also as "La inmensidad" in Spain and Latin American countries.

The third televised concert of ''Senza rete'' (Unplugged) was recorded live without playback on 18 July 1968 at the Auditorio A of the RAI regional headquarters in Naples. The program presented Mina turning the recently passed Luigi Tenco's song "Se stasera sono qui" ("Should I Stay Here Tonight") into a rigorous piece of soul music[http://www.hitparadeitalia.it/schede/s/se_stasera_sono_qui.htm Se stasera sono qui] Hit Parade Italia in the score of Pino Calvi. She celebrated the 10th anniversary of her career with a concert at La Bussola, backed by Orchestra Augusto Martelli. The concert was recorded and issued as ''Mina alla Bussola dal vivo''. as the first live album in the history of the Italian art of singing.

Canzonissima 1968

''Canzonissima 1968'' was a Saturday night prime time variety show aired on Rai Uno from September 1968 to January 1969. It was hosted by Mina, Walter Chiari and Paolo Panelli. The show gathered unprecedented 20–22 million viewers per night, watching Mina's performances accompanied by an orchestra of 400 people and a choir of 130.[http://www.galleriadellacanzone.it/canzoni/anni60/schede/zumzum/zumzum.htm Zum zum zum] Galleria della canzone site. Retrieved 27 June 2007 The orchestrations were scored by the conductors Bruno Canfora and Augusto Martelli. "Sacumdì Sacumdà", Mina's talking and laughing version of Carlos Imperial's bossa nova "Nem Vem Que Não Tem" narrowly escaped a ban by RAI because of its unholy lyrics. The song was performed as a part of a musical fantasy, back to back with "Quelli che hanno un cuore", her intense version of "Anyone Who Had a Heart".[http://www.hitparadeitalia.it/voli/articoli/ch681220.htm Settimana 20 Dicembre 1968] Hit Parade Italia. Another interpretation of a Dionne Warwick's song was "La voce del silenzio" ("Silent Voices") by Paolo Limiti and Elio Isola, in a live session during the show. "Niente di niente" ("Nothing at All") was her version of the Delfonics' "Break your promise". The series also included the songs "Fantasia", "La musica è finita" ("The Music is Over") and the elegant "Un colpo al cuore" ("Heart Attack"). The latter of these ended up as the #68 biggest-selling single of the year 1968 in Italy. Each of the variety nights were closed by Mina singing "Vorrei che fosse amore" ("Wish It Was Love"), a piece of atmospheric music by Bruno Canfora which was #50 biggest-selling single of the year 1960 in Italy. The songs of the variety series were issued as ''Canzonissima '68''.

Mogol-Battisti (1969–1973)

After a break of three months, Mina returned by recording and performing the song "Non credere" ("Disbelieve") composed by Luigi Clausetti and Pietro Soffici, and lyrics by Mogol, in April. The single became the third biggest-selling record of the year in Italy. This lead to cooperation with Mogol, his fellow composer Lucio Battisti and the Premiata Forneria Marconi providing the back-up instrumentals. 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 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. Among them, ''Bugiardo più che mai...più incosciente che mai...'' was Mina's first independent album at the weekly #1 of the Italian charts and ended up as the biggest selling album of the year 1969 in Italy. ''...quando tu mi spiavi in cima a un batticuore...'' was the seventh in the annual record chart of 1970, ''Del mio meglio...'' (''My Best...'') the second in 1971, and ''Mina'' was the biggest seller of 1972. The latter two were recorded during her break in live performances to give birth to her daughter Benedetta.

Mina's comeback took place at RAI's variety series ''Teatro 10'' in spring 1972. 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. Mogol-Battisti's success encouraged Luigi Albertelli to copy Battisti's handwriting in "Fiume azzurro", which earned a place in the Top 100 of the 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 was an easy listening dialogue of Mina's singing with Lupo's declamation. The theme of the song were hollow words. It intertwined the lady's lamentation of the end of love and the lies she had to hear, while the man simply spoke. In the dialog, she scoffed at the compliments that he gave her, calling them ''parole'' – just words. The single was released in April 1972 to become a top hit of Italian charts and an evergreen in Italy.

After the ''Teatro 10'', Mina declared retirement from public appearances, due to take place after an exclusive concert at the La Bussola Club on September 16. This turned up thousands of people at the nightclub's doorstep.[http://www.hitparadeitalia.it/voli/articoli/ch721001.htm Settimana 13 Ottobre 1972] Hit Parade Italia About 2,000 spectators struggled their way inside, leaving thousands to listen at the street and at the beach.[http://www.galleriadellacanzone.it/storie/luoghi/bussola/bussola.htm La Bussola] galleriadellacanzone.it site. Retrieved 1 September 2007 Gianni Ferrio's Orchestra featured Gianni Basso at the tenor saxophone and Oscar Valdambrini at the trumpet.

Having lost her husband Virgilio Crocco in a car accident in 1973, Mina continued her chart success with "E poi..." ("And Then...") and "L'importante è finire" ("The Important Thing Is to Finish") both topping the Italian charts. She also recorded the theme song "Fa presto, fa piano" ("Works Quickly, Works Quietly") for the film ''La sculacciata'', issued in 1974.

After 1973

Mina's last live TV appearance was the final episode of the ''Milleluci'' series on 16 March 1974. Alongside Raffaella Carrà, Mina was the hostess of the series. During the series, she crossed different styles, including the number called "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from the musical ''Jesus Christ Superstar'', "Mack the Knife", "Night and Day" and "Someday (You'll Want Me to Want You)"). With "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 video appearance on TV was a censored version of her eroticist performance of "Ancora ancora ancora". The video was the final number of the "Mille e una luce" show on 1 July 1978.[http://www.galleriadellacanzone.it/canzoni/anni70/schede/ancora/ancora.htm Ancora ancora ancora] Galleria della canzone site. Retrieved 28 June 2007 Her last concert appearances were in 1978 with a series of thirteen fully-booked concerts at La Bussola cut short due to her illness. Mina gave her last public performance on August 23, 1978 at the ''Bussoladomani'' theatre. This had been built as an extension of ''La Bussola'' to handle crowds of the magnitude of Mina's 1972 concert. The concert was recorded and issued as ''Mina Live '78''. She never explained the reasons for her withdrawal from the public eye.

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 a year. From 1973, her LPs and CDs have been characterized by the artistic motives of the designers Luciano Tallarini, Gianni Ronco and the photographer Mauro Balletti. From 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 been covering well-known songs, dedicating tribute albums to The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Renato Zero, Domenico Modugno, the Neapolitan song and religious music. After leaving the stage, her greatest chart success has been gained by 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. The duet album ''Mina Celentano'' recorded with Adriano Celentano was the biggest-selling album of the year 1998 in Italy. Starting from 1989, all of her records included the jazzy fortepiano of Danilo Rea.

The break in Mina's TV appearances lasted until 2001, when she released footage of her recording sessions. The videos were broadcasted over the Wind internet site on 30 March. This resulted in millions of visits on the site at the night only, 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 of the chart, her 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 of the Italian charts. So did ''Olio'' (1999), ''Veleno'' (2002), ''Bula Bula'' (2005) and ''Todavía''. Mina's late releases have included duets with Mick Hucknall, Fabrizio De André, Piero Pelù, Adriano Celentano, Lucio Dalla, Joan Manuel Serrat, Chico Buarque, Tiziano Ferro and Giorgia. In recent years, Mina has been writing a weekly column at the front page of ''La Stampa'' and a page in the Italian edition of the magazine ''Vanity Fair'', answering fanletters.

Musical style and public image


Mina is a soprano with great extension and agility. Swingy and anti-melodic in her early years ("Tintarella di luna", 1959), her singing later acquired high dramatic tones.

Queen of Screamers

Caught by the wave of rock and roll sweeping across Italy in 1958, Mina listened to American records and was a frequent visitor at the Derby jazzclub, the Santa Tecla and the Taverna Messicana clubs of Milan, which promoted rock and roll music at the time. Part of Mina’s repertoire in the beginning of her career were clumsy imitations of British and American rock and jazz songs while her extra-loud and syncopated version of the song "Nessuno" showcased her excellent sense of rhythm. Earlier in 1958, Domenico Modugno had caused astonishment by raising his hands in the air during his performance of Nel blu dipinto di blu („Volare”). Mina’s first TV appearances took a step further in breaking the rule of the motionless artist, shaking her head, hands and hips in the rhythm. The writer Edoardo Sanguineti recalled the encounter of the Italian public with the enthusiastic singer as: For her distinctive timbre and power, TV host Mario Riva entitled her as one of the ''urlatori'' (screamers), referring to the energetic rock and roll generation. Later, the public considered Mina as the queen of the Screamers. Her extravagant gestures earned her another nickname – ''Tiger of Cremona''.


Mina’s new sensual manner was introduced by the ballad "Il cielo in una stanza" in 1960. Three years later, her love affair with Corrado Pani represented the emancipation of women in Italy that did not accord with the dominant Catholic and bourgeois virtues. The subsequent ban from performing at the Italian TV and radio channels developed an image of Mina as a ''bad girl'', which she emphasized later with her song themes. An example was her performance of "Sacumdì Sacumdà" on air, after RAI (the Italian broadcasting service) had expressed their displeasure with the lyrics about a girl’s encounter with the Devil. Other songs, the RAI considered immoral and initially banned, were "Ta-ra-ta-ta" (dealing forthright with smoking),[http://www.musicaememoria.com/mina_fumo_blu.htm Mina - Fumo blu (Ta ra ta ta ta ta)] Musica e memoria site. Retrieved 21 January 2008 "La canzone di Marinella", and "L'importante è finire" (alluding to sex without love).[http://musicaememoria.altervista.org/la_rai_e_le_canzoni.htm La RAI e le canzoni "oscurate"] Musica & memoria site. Retrieved 21 January 2007 Mina's sex appeal and her cool act featured public smoking, dyed blonde hair, shaved eyebrows, and heavy use of eye make-up.

The main theme of Mina's songs were distressing love stories.[http://minamazzini.it/discografia/discografia.php?ce=EMI0724357672825 Loris Biazzetti] The Platinum Collection. Retrieved 21 January 2008 Her style was to interprete them in a highly dramatic way, her mimics and body living with the storyline. The music critic Gherardo Gentili has noted on her interpretive skills as:

To demonstrate Mina's vocal range, the composer Bruno Canfora wrote the song "Brava". Ennio Morricone composed the song "Se telefonando" for her with numerous transitions of tonality. More songs were exclusively composed for Mina and arranged for RAI's all-star orchestras for the performances in the TV variety series ''Studio uno'', ''Sabato sera'', ''Canzonissima'' and ''Teatro 10''. Mina (alongside Carmen Villani) pioneered in combining the classic Italian pop and swing music with features of blues, R&B and soul music, particularly in the songs "Se stasera sono qui" and "Deborah". She helped to incorporate new styles to the Italian pop music, particularly nuevo tango with "Balada para mi muerte".


Marking a turn of musical style, Mina changed her hairdo from short and straight into long blonde curls, and started to wear a black minidress in 1969. Mogol's and Lucio Battisti's first songs resumed with Mina's blues and soul skills, particularly "Insieme" and "Io e te da soli". Along the time of their cooperation, Mina turned towards middle-of-the-road pop. Battisti's melodies were sophisticated and had a complex chord sequence. The songs were characterized by frequent changes of rhythm, pauses and dialogues between the voice and the orchestra. Another characterizing feature was an instrumental introduction without a rhythmic base. Lucio Battisti called Mina an ideal singer for a composer, making the best of the authors' complicated ideas and Italian language skills.

Mina Latina

A fan of bossa nova, Mina recorded in Spanish and Portuguese from the start of her career and currently enjoys a fan base in Spain and Latin America. The Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar has used Mina's songs in his movie soundtracks. In 2001, Mina published the compilation album ''Colección Latina'', with standards in Spanish, as well as Spanish covers of her originals. In 2003 the musical "Mina... che cosa sei?" was staged in Argentina, based on Mina's songs. In 2007, Mina published ''Todavía'', an album in Spanish and Catalan, which reached #36 on the Spanish charts and #1 in the Italian charts. It included duets with Joan Manuel Serrat, Miguel Bosé, Diego Torres, Chico Buarque, and Diego El Cigala.


Mina has recorded over a thousand songs, 110 albums, sold 76 million records,[http://www.arcobaleno.net/personaggi/ariete/mina.htm Stefano Barbieri]. Mina la camaleontica, Mina la solitaria. Arcobaleno and scored 70 singles in Italian charts. Mina is the only artist to land an album at the 1st place of the Italian charts in each of the five decades from the initiation of the album chart in 1965. President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi presented her with the 2nd Class of the Italian Order of Merit on 1 June 2001.[http://www.quirinale.it/ex_presidenti/Ciampi/Comunicati/Comunicato.asp?id=15010 Communication of President of the Italian Republic] 1 June 2001

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 Francoise Hardy and Iva Zanicchi (1966), Delta V (2005), Vanessa and the O's (2007), and Neil Hannon (2008). "Grande grande grande" was brought to the Billboard Hot 100, UK Top 10 and #1 of the Australian charts by Shirley Bassey as "Never Never Never" in 1973. A year later, Dalida and Alain Delon recorded "Paroles paroles" in French and made it an international hit. In 2001, Elvis Costello used a sample from "Un bacio è troppo poco" on his album ''When I Was Cruel''. "And I Think of You - E penso a te" was issued in English as a standout track on ''The Best of Tanita Tikaram'' album. Monica Naranjo released ''Minage'', an album of Spanish versions of Mina's songs in 2000. Naranjo has credited Mina in the following words:

''I wanted something to let the world to know that I am also a fanatic, and that there are many great artists/singers out there who deserve more recognition. An example of such an artist is Mina Mazzini.''

Personal life

At her early teens, Mina was a competitive swimmer for the prestigious Canottieri Baldesio sports club in Cremona. At her age of 16, she met her first boyfriend at the swimming pool who was a fullback for the U.S. Cremonese football club. In 1962, Mina fell in love with the actor Corrado Pani. As he was already married, although separated from his wife, their relationship shocked Italian audiences. On April 18, 1963 their son Massimiliano Pani was born. Due to Mina's refusal to hide her relationship, the singer was banned from performing on any 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 January 10, 1964. Within a year, her affair with Corrado ended, resulting in a legal battle for custody of Massimiliano. Mina's brother Alfredo Mazzini died in a car accident in 1965. A year later she and her father moved to live in Lugano, Switzerland. Mina's intimate relationships, however, remained in Italy, as she had a brief affair with the Italian TV actor Walter Chiari. A later relationship - with the actor Gian Maria Volontè - ended after she found out about Volontè's affair with an actress. Mina's great love of the late sixties, with whom she had a relationship that lasted three years and almost led to marriage, was the composer Augusto Martelli. In 1970 she met and married Virgilio Crocco, a journalist for Il Messaggero. In November 1971 their daughter Benedetta Mazzini was born. In 1973, Crocco died in a car accident. In 1981 Mina became engaged with the Swiss cardiologist Eugenio Quaini. In 1990 she acquired Swiss citizenship. Mina Anna Mazzini and Eugenio Quaini were married on January 10, 2006. As required by Swiss law, Mina took on her husband's last name, becoming Mrs. Mina Anna Quaini. Towards her public, however, she still adresses herself as Mina Mazzini as indicated by her website's domain name. Mina's passions include cooking and poker.


Selected albums:
* 1965: ''Studio Uno''
* 1966: ''Studio Uno 66''
* 1967: ''Sabato sera - Studio Uno '67''
* 1968: ''Mina alla Bussola dal vivo''
* 1969: ''Bugiardo più che mai...più incosciente che mai...''
* 1971: ''Del mio meglio''
* 1971: ''Mina''
* 1972: ''Cinquemilaquarantatrè''
* 1973: ''Frutta e verdura/Amanti di valore''
* 1975: ''Minacantalucio/La Mina''
* 1998: ''Mina Celentano'' with Adriano Celentano


*''Juke box - Urli d'amore'' (1959)
*''Teddy Boys della canzone'' (1960)
*''Urlatori alla sbarra'' (1960)
*''Madri pericolose'' (1960)
*''Io bacio... tu baci'' (1961)
*''Mina... fuori la guardia'' (1961)
*''Das haben die Mädchen gern'' (1962)
*''Appuntamento in Riviera'' (1962)
*''Silvester Show'' (1964)
*''Per amore... per magia...'' (1967)


Mina signed a contract with the Barilla food label in 1965, starring in ten pasta commercials until 1971, directed by Piero Gherardi and Valerio Zurlini among others. In 2005, Mina's performances of advertising Barilla were published on VHS and DVD as ''Nei caroselli Barilla''. The exclusive concert at the La Bussola Club on September 16, 1972 was released by the PDU record company as ''Mina alla Bussola Live '72''. Recorded by Polivideo TV company, the event was aired on Sky Italia as a sequence from January 1 to 21, 1973.


* ''Mina, come sono'' by Gianni Pettenat (Virgilio 1980)
* ''Mina, la voce'' by Mario Guarino (Forte 1983)
* ''Unicamente Mina'' by Flavio Merkel and Paolo Belluso (Gammalibri 1983)
* ''La leggendaria Mina'' (PDU Italiana Edizioni Musicali S.r.l./Curci 1983
* ''Mina. Storia di un mito'' by Nino Romano (Rusconi 1986)
* ''Mina nelle fotografie di Mauro Balletti'' (Campanotto 1990)
* ''Mina - Le immagini e la storia di un mito'' (Eden 1992)
* ''Mina - Mito e mistero'' by Nino Romano (Sperling & Kupfer 1996)
* ''Mina - I miti'' by Antonella Giola, Daniela Teruzzi & Gherardo Gentili (Arnoldo Mondadori 1997)
* ''Mina - I mille volti di una voce'' by Romy Padovano (Arnoldo Mondadori 1998)
* ''Divina Mina'' by Dora Giannetti (Zelig 1998)
* ''Mina'' by Roberta Maresci (Gremese 1998)
* ''Mina - Una forza incantatrice'' by Franco Fabbri & Luigi Pestalozza (eds. Euresis 1998)
* ''Mina - La sua vita, i suoi successi'' by Gianni Lucini (Sonzogno 1999)
* ''Mina, il mito'' (Tempo Libro 1999)
* ''Studio Mina'' by Flaviano De Luca (ed. Elle U Multimedia 1999)
* ''Mina disegnata fotografata'' -Authors' copyright- 2001
* ''Mina: Gli anni Italdisc 1959 - 1964'' by Marco Castiglioni, Fulvio Fiore, Maurizio Maiotti, Stefania Fiore, Barbara Alari and Maurizio Maiotti (Satisfaction 2001)
* ''Mina 1958–2005 Ancora insieme'' by Marcello Bufacchi (Riuniti 2005)
* ''Mina talk. Vent'anni di interviste. 1959-1979'' by Fernando Fratarcangeli (Coniglio 2005)
* ''Mina... il fascino della tigre'' by Ghea Irene (Lo Vecchio 2006)

Source: Wikipedia