Sanremo Music Festival
The Festival della canzone italiana di Sanremo (Italian song festival of Sanremo) is the most popular Italian song contest and awards ceremony, held annually in the town of Sanremo, Liguria, and consisting of a competition amongst previously unreleased songs. Usually referred to as Festival di Sanremo, or outside Italy as Sanremo Music Festival, it was the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest.It is the music equivalent to the Premio Regia Televisiva for television, the Premio Ubu for stage performances, and the Premio David di Donatello for motion pictures.
The first edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, held between 29 and 31 January 1951, was broadcast by RAI's radio station Rete Rossa, and its only three participants were Nilla Pizzi, Achille Togliani, and Duo Fasano. Starting from 1955, all editions of the festival have been broadcast live by the Italian TV station Rai 1.From 1951 to 1976, the Festival took place in the Sanremo Casino, but starting from 1977, all the following editions were held in the Teatro Ariston, except in 1990, which was held at the Nuovo Mercato dei Fiori.Between 1953 and 1971, except in 1956, each song was sung twice by two different artists, each one using an individual orchestral arrangement, to illustrate the meaning of the festival as a composers' competition, not a singers' competition. During this era of the festival, it was custom that one version of the song was performed by a native Italian artist while the other version was performed by an international guest artist. This became a way for many international artists to debut their songs on the Italian market, including Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Jose Feliciano, Roberto Carlos, Paul Anka, Yardbirds, Marianne Faithfull, Shirley Bassey, Mungo Jerry, and many others.
The festival is used as a way of choosing the Italian entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, and it has launched the careers of some of Italy's most successful singers, including Andrea Bocelli, Paola e Chiara, Il Volo, Giorgia, Laura Pausini, Eros Ramazzotti, and Gigliola Cinquetti.
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